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Birth and Parentage Early Religious Experience Hospi- 
tality of her Father's House Exercises of her Mind 
concerning Divine Requisitions Her Marriage First 
Appearance in the Ministry page 1-13 


Some Account of her Husband Reflections incident to his 
Illness and Death Account of her Ancestors Origin of 
the Township of Westbury page 14-30 


1828 TO 1833. 

Separation in New York Yearly Meeting Her Religious 
Experiences and Exercises Death of Two Children. 

page 31-39 


1833 TO 1839. 

The Acknowledgment of her Gift in the Ministry Re- 
ligious Visit to Nine Partners and Stanford Quarterly 

iv Contents. 

Meetings as Companion to Phebe I. Merritt Attends 
the Yearly Meeting of Philadelphia as Companion to 
Sarah Hicks Obtains a Minute to attend the Quarterly 
Meetings of Stanford and Duanesburgh and appoint some 
Meetings Minute to attend the Yearly Meetings of 
Genesee, Ohio, and Indiana, and Subordinate Meetings 
Incidents of the Journey page 40-53 


1839 T 1852. 

Obtains a Minute to attend the Quarterly Meetings of Pur- 
chase and Shrewsbury and Rahway, and the Meetings com- 
posing them Minutes to attend the Yearly Meetings of 
Genesee, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Ohio, Indiana, and all 
the Meetings constituting them, and also for Service in her 
own Yearly Meeting page 54-63 


1852 TO 1856. 

Illness and Death of her Son Abraham Tribute to his Worth 
Exercises in Prospect of further Labor Obtains a Min- 
ute to attend all the Meetings constituting New York 
Yearly Meeting Attends Baltimore Yearly Meeting and 
the Meetings constituting it Reflections upon the System 
of Slavery ... page 64-76 

Contents. v 


1857 TO i860. 

Obtains a Minute to visit the Families of Westbury Quarterly 
Meeting Minute to visit the Families of the three Monthly 
Meetings of Philadelphia Illness and Death of her Com- 
panion, Caroline Willets Minute to Visit the Families of 
the Monthly Meeting of Baltimore Minutes to attend the 
Yearly Meetings of Philadelphia, Ohio, Indiana, and re- 
mote_Settlements in the West page 77-Q3 


1 86 1 TO 1864. 

Exercises of her mind induced by the Condition of our Coun- 
try page 94-109 


1864 TO 1867. 

Minutes to attend Genesee Yearly Meeting, the Meetings 
constituting New York Yearly Meeting, and to visit the 
Families of Amawalk and Chappaqua Minute to attend 
Philadelphia Yearly Meeting and its Subordinate Meet- 
ings Reflections upon the \Vork of the Ministry Ac- 
knowledgment of Divine favor page no-122 


1867 TO I87O. 

Visits some of the Subordinate Meetings of New York 
Yearly Meeting, as one of a Committee appointed to that 
Service page 123-129 

vi Contents. 


1867 TO 1873. 

Acknowledgment of Divine Favor Obtains a Minute to at- 
tend all the Yearly Meetings with which we are in 
Unity Attends Philadelphia Yearly Meeting Also the 
Yearly Meetings of Ohio, Indiana, and Baltimore, and 
the remote Meetings in Illinois and Iowa Attends Gene- 
see Yearly Meeting Retrospect of the Service. 

page 130-137 


1873 TO 1875. 

Reflections on the Nineteenth Anniversary of the Death of 
her Son Abraham Retrospect of her Life upon entering 
her Eighty-sixth Year page 138-149 


1875 TO 1878. 

Retrospect at the Opening of the Year Return of Minute, 
after visiting the Families of Friends and Friendly People 
in the Monthly Meetings of Westbury and Jericho Grati- 
tude for the Continued Evidences of Divine Favor in the 
Evening of Life Attends Baltimore Yearly Meeting Her 
Closing Record after entering her Ninetieth Year. 

page 150-276 

A Memorial of Rachel Hicks. By Westbury Monthly Meet- 
ing of Friends page 277-286 





Birth and Parentage Early Religious Experience Hospi- 
tality of her Father's House Exercises of her Mind 
concerning Divine Requisitions Her Marriage First 
Appearance in the Ministry. 

8th mo. 7th, 1857. 

I HAVE long felt that the work given me 
to do will not be finished unless I leave some 
account of my life and my various religious 
exercises in the course of it. In times past 
I have been fearful that a wish to transmit 
my name to a future generation had some 
share in the feeling. I have therefore put it 
off until this late period, and can now ac- 
knowledge that to have an evidence that -my 

2 Memoir of 

name is written in Heaven absorbs all other 

In a deep sense of my umvorthiness, and 
with an awful solemnity resting upon my 
spirit, in the sixty-ninth year of my age, I 
begin this, my last legacy of love to my fel- 
low-creatures. In this work I ask the aid of 
Him who, I believe, requires it of me ; hop- 
ing it may afford encouragement to some deep- 
ly exercised and tried mind -when I shall have 
passed away from time and all its conflicts. 

I was born on the loth of fourth month, 
1789, and was carefully educated in the prin- 
ciples of Friends, by my religiously con- 
cerned parents, Gideon and Elizabeth Seaman. 
Having thus experienced the benefit of a 
guarded education, I can add my testimony 
to that of many who have gone before me, 
that a solemn responsibility rests upon parents 
to train their offspring to fear the Lord and 
keep His commandments which He impresses 
upon the mind by His own Spirit. 

I remember, when I was about eight years 
old, being at school and using a word I did 
not know the meaning of having learned it 

Rachael Hicks. 3 

of a domestic and which I had, at the mo- 
ment, a gentle intimation against ; but soaring 
above it, I was brought under great condem- 
nation of conscience. It was then opened to 
my understanding that the word used was 
synonymous with a vow, which I had been in- 
structed by my parents was wrong, and which 
my Heavenly Father now, by His own Spirit, 
showed me was the cause of His displeasure, 
and that I must repent and forsake the use 
of it. My distress of mind was so great that 
my body became affected, and, being at school, 
I could in truth ask liberty of the teacher to 
go home, for I was not well. 

I also distinctly remember the tender solici- 
tude of my endeared mother in nursing me, 
which seemed to add to my condemnation. I 
felt that I had not only offended my Heavenly 
Father, but was putting my earthly parent to 
trouble for my transgression ; thus I lay for 
several hours bemoaning my condition, until He 
who sees the heart was pleased to forgive, and 
speak comfortably to my soul. Rejoicing in 
the return of peace, and acceptance with my 
Maker, I arose from my couch, told my 

4 Memoir of 

mother I was better, and went about as 
usual ; but ever after, through childhood, 
youth, and up to the present time, I have 
felt a great fear of offending Him from whom 
I could not hide my most secret thoughts or 
words. I had tasted the bitterness of con- 
demnation and separation from the Divine 
harmony, and I dreaded it. I can now say, 
with the apostle, that even the ministration 
of condemnation is glorious, because it gives 
us a knowledge of what we lose of Divine 
enjoyment by transgression ; and is an evi- 
dence that God loves us and follows us to 
cause our return to Him in full obedience. 
Oh, then, how much more glorious is the 
ministration of justification, because we then 
feel the joy of acceptance and fellowship 
with the Father and with one another! 

Although this love of the Father's presence, 
and the fear of losing it by disobedience, has 
been a preservation to me thus far/ yet had 
I always yielded to impressions of duty to 
Him I should have escaped much suffering, 
and enjoyed a part of my life much better. 

In childhood and youth I was mostly pre- 

Rachael Hicks. 5 

served in innocency, being shielded from many 
temptations by the restraining care and tender 
solicitude of my parents, who, early in life, ha- 
bituated me to attend meetings steadily twice in 
the week, and kept me in "plainness of speech, 
behavior, and apparel." Although it was many 
times much in the cross to my natural inclina- 
tions, I had learned that submission to them 
was my duty ; and I have long seen that these 
restraints were a preservation to me from im- 
proper associations and from the growth of 
vanity and pride, of which I had, in my na- 
ture, a great share. 

My father's house was a place of enter- 
tainment for Friends traveling in the min- 
istry or attending quarterly and monthly 
meetings. On many of these occasions the 
company settled in silence, and often coun- 
sel flowed sweetly, to the tendering of many 
minds, especially those of the young. At 
these seasons impressions were made on my 
youthful mind that have never been effaced. 
I loved the company of these Friends and 
these seasons of religious instruction, and 
also to read the journals of Friends. But 

6 Memoir of 

more especially did I delight in reading the 
historical part of the Holy Scriptures. The 
accounts of the patriarchs, prophets, and 
apostles, particularly the history of Joseph, 
made a deep impression on my mind as a 
remarkable instance of the superintending 
care of Providence over His children, and 
a desire was often raised in my heart to be 
like those faithful servants of the Lord, ot 
whom I read. Yet, at other times, I was 
fond of childish play, of hearing the singing 
of songs, and of listening to small instruments 
of music, in which I indulged in the absence of 
my parents, until condemnation of spirit taught 
me to cease from it. Thus I renewedly learned, 
by experience, that there is more enjoyment in 
obedience to God, and in feeling the incomes 
of His love, than there is in the indulgence of 
the unrestrained natural desires. 

In childhood I contemplated death as a 
most solemn and awful event ; and my parents 
early impressed my mind with a dread of dy- 
ing unprepared ; and hearing of individuals 
who had been suddenly taken out of time 
sometimes by lightning the fear of that phe- 

Rachael Hicks. 7 

nomenon was so great that, when I saw clouds 
arising and heard the roar of thunder, I was 
led into a close examination of my inward 
state, to see if I was prepared for death, and 
fervent petitions were put up to my Heavenly 
Father to forgive all my sins, if I had trans- 
gressed against Him. Now as I review the 
past, I believe that this fear was a preservation 
to me, as it led to a daily care not to offend 
Him who is pure and holy; for an unshaken 
belief in the immortality of the soul, and in 
future rewards to the good, and punishment to 
the wicked, was forced on my mind. 

My parents were in the practice of collecting 
the members of their family in the twilight of 
the evening, when the labors of the day were 
finished, and sitting in silent retirement per- 
haps half an hour. In one of these opportuni- 
ties of introversion of spirit, about the nine- 
teenth year of my age, my mind was turned 
to my Father in Heaven with strong desires 
to serve Him through life, and be preserved 
from sin, and its awful consequences; when 
the language was sounded intelligibly to my 
mental ear, " If faithful to My requirings, thou 

8 Memoir of 

wilt have to speak in My name to the assem- 
blies of the people, and travel extensively in 
the ministry." This was an unexpected and 
unwelcome message. My nature revolted, 
and I said in my heart, " This is a service I 
cannot perform." Timid and bashful by na- 
ture, I felt that I never could stand before an 
assembly of people, and address them with in- 
telligible voice and language. Any other ser- 
vice I thought I could perform, or make any 
sacrifice in lieu of so great a work for which I 
felt unfit and unworthy. 

Although I endeavored to persuade myself 
that this was a delusion of the imagination, 
the impression continued with me, without 
the intimation that I was to arise and speak, 
until, in my twentieth year, while sitting in 
our meeting at Westbury enjoying the sweet 
incomes of the Father's love, and fearing the 
word of command, I said in my heart, " With- 
hold Thy hand, for if my cup thus overflow, I 
shall be constrained to tell unto others what 
Thou hast done for my soul." This request, 
though impious and unwise upon my part, my 
Creator, in wisdom inscrutable, saw best to 

Rachael Hicks. 9 

grant ; and a sensible feeling of His presence 
was withdrawn, and long was I left, as a dove 
without its mate, moaning my condition, and 
longing for the return of the Beloved of my 
soul. Often did my spiritual eye see a table 
spread with rich dainties by His bountiful 
hand, and my famishing soul desired to par- 
take ; but when the terms of admission were 
shown me, my stubborn will would not yield, 
and again and again I was turned backward 
in the wilderness, where beasts of prey howled 
around me, and I feared that I should fall a 
victim. 'In this state of rebellion the earth 
brought forth thorns and thistles ; or, in other 
words, the propensities of human nature grew 
strong, and I was sometimes irritable and im- 
patient ; whereas I had heretofore been called 
mild and gentle in my disposition. Oh ! the 
danger of disobedience, which disqualifies for 
the right performance of our earthly con- 
cerns ! 

When I was about eighteen years of age 
my beloved mother was removed by death ; 
and in my twenty-sixth year I was married to 
Abraham Hicks, of Rockaway, Long Island. 

io Memoir of 

I had many cares and duties resting upon me 
as a daughter to an aged father, and as a wife 
and mother. Although I strongly desired to 
discharge my various duties to my loved ones, 
and set a good example to all around me, I 
was sensible that I did not always maintain 
that degree of patience and equanimity of 
temper I would have been favored with had 
I been faithfully obedient to my Creator. 
This grieved me, for I loved the Truth, and de- 
sired not to do anything that would bring dis- 
honor upon the profession of it. 

The exercises of my mind were many and 
heavy, and, being depicted in my countenance, 
I was considered a concerned Friend, and was 
often appointed to the most important ser- 
vices in our Society. Although I felt myself 
to be among the chief of sinners, in the omis- 
sion of a known duty, and therefore a great 
hypocrite, it seemed right for me to submit to 
the judgment of my friends, and do the best I 

could in these appointments. I nevertheless 

felt that I had been called to another station 

in the Church Militant by my Creator, who, 
although I was tossed, and not comforted, did 

Rachael Hicks. 1 1 

not forsake, but followed me with His fatherly 

I had many and various trials and bereave- 
ments during this .period, which were close 
and hard to endure ; among them the loss of 
my beloved husband, and two lovely children. 
But above all these, temptations seemed to 
have more power over me, and I saw in the 
light of Truth that if I did not yield my strong 
will to the will of my Creator, He would ere 
long give me over to my own strength and 
resolutions, which would be insufficient to en- 
able me much longer to sustain even a mor- 
al character. Notwithstanding this, although 
alarmed and distressed beyond description, I 
did not yield ; until, in my forty-second year, 
while sitting in meeting on First-day morning, 
I there felt a requisition to arise and bear testi- 
mony to the Truth, with the impression strong 
and clear that this was the last offer and invi- 
tation of the Divine Father's love to my soul ; 
and if I chose to allow the meeting to close 
without submission I should be forever sepa- 
rated from the Divine harmony, in this world 
and in the world to come. 

12 Memoir of 

As this was awfully impressed upon my mind 
by the immediate operation of the Lord's 
Spirit, a minister belonging to our meeting 
arose and said there was one present who, if 
not faithful, would be cast off into a state of 
forgetfulness and darkness forever. I now saw 
and felt that there was inward and outward 
evidence of my being utterly cast off, which 
was more than I could bear or risk. I arose 
on my feet, and audibly and distinctly uttered 
a few sentences ; proving that to be a lying 
spirit which had so long persuaded me that I 
could not speak in a public assembly. 

As I took my seat I did not feel that songs 
of praise and rejoicing were given me ; but a 
peaceful and awful solemnity covered my 
spirit, in the feeling that my soul through 
mercy had been saved from eternal ruin, on 
the verge of which I had so lately stood ! All 
within me bowed in submission to Him who 
now appeared to me to be glorious in holiness, 
fearful in praises, doing wonders ! and I entered 
into covenant with Him that, if He would go 
with me, I would follow Him whithersoever 
He would be pleased to lead me, and declare 

Rachael Hicks. 13 

to the people that which He gave me for 

And now, on looking back, I humbly feel 
that in great weakness and fear of offending . 
Him, I have kept my covenant, except it may 
be in a few instances, when, through the fear 
of man and his rebuke, I have withheld the 
doctrine that flowed in my heart to the gath- 
ered assemblies of the people. Blessed be His 
name, He has kept His covenant with me ! 
He has done wonders for me in breaking down 
my strong will, that rose up in rebellion 
against Him, somewhat more than twenty 
years! His mercy is commensurate with His 
power, in that He did not leave me, but fol- 
lowed me as a tender Father, and at last 
plucked my feet out of the " miry clay," and 
set them on the immutable Rock, even His 
own eternal power and wisdom. Praises and 
thanksgiving be ascribed to Him forever and 
ever ! saith all that is within me capable of 

14 Memoir of 


Some Account of her Husband Reflections incident to his 
Illness and Death Account of her Ancestors Origin of 
the Township of Westbury. 

BEFORE proceeding further with my own nar- 
rative it seems due to my deceased husband 
to give some account of his life and religious 

He was born at Rockaway, the i6th of ist 
mo., 1792, and was carefully educated in mo- 
rality by his parents, Stephen and Mary 
Hicks, who, having been brought up in dif- 
ferent religious societies (his father, a broth- 
er of Elias Hicks, like him, was educated 
in the principles of the Society of Friends 
his mother being an Episcopalian) did not 
instil any particular doctrines in the minds of 
their children, but left them at liberty to choose 
and judge for themselves when they arrived at 
maturity. Hence, this son, when he grew up 
to manhood, being of a serious turn of mind, 

Rachael Hicks. i5 

and feeling a desire to join a religious society, 
attended the meetings of several religious de- 
nominations. But not finding in them that 
peace of mind which his soul sought for, about 
the twenty-second year of his age he felt drawn 
to attend the public Quarterly Meeting of 
Friends held at Westbury. Here, by the 
preaching of Stephen Grillet, his mind was ten- 
dered, and he felt that God is worshiped in 
spirit, and not by forms and ceremonies ; and 
his judgment was convinced that His kingdom 
is within man, and that those who seek it must 
find it there, by doing the will of our Father 
who is in Heaven. 

Soon after this, the testimony of his uncle, 
Elias Hicks, that it were better for a man 
never to have known the Truth, than to have 
known it and not be faithful to its teachings, 
proved as the clinching of " a nail in a sure 
place." He now saw clearly that the Society 
of Friends was the denomination he must join, 
if he obtained that peace which his soul was 

As he gradually yielded to the teachings of 
the Spirit of Truth, his mind was illuminated 

1 6 Memoir of 

to see that customs and practices, amusements, 
fashionable dress and address, deemed inno- 
cent by many, tended to puff up the mind 
with pride and vanity, and that now he was to 
cease from them. Great were the exercises, 
and deep the baptisms he passed through, to 
prepare him to make the sacrifices called for, 
so that he sought lonely and solitary places to 
retire to, and pour out his prayers to God. 
Particular spots and groves on his father's farm 
in after life, when he saw them, revived in his 
memory the many mournful seasons of which 
they had been the silent witnesses, and the 
tears he had shed there. But they were not 
always tears of sorrow, for when his mind was 
contrited and made willing to obey the re- 
quirements of the Truth, his Divine Master 
visited him in tender compassion and conso- 
lation. Tears of gratitude and joy then flowed 
freely, and he was constrained to enter into 
covenant to serve the Lord in his day and gen- 

He was thus enabled to take up his cross, 
despising the shame, and counting the re- 
proaches of men as dross in comparison with 

Rachael Hicks. 17 

that peace of mind which the world could 
neither give nor take away. 

One duty after another was required as he 
was able to bear it, and although some little 
things were called for, it seemed harder to 
yield the will in these than if greater ones had 
been demanded. Those who had not had the 
trial, could not form an idea of the greatness 
of the cross in putting on the plain dress, 
using the plain language, and attending meet- 
ings twice in the week. Having fourteen miles 
to ride to get there, and his constitution being 
delicate, it seemed an unwarrantable exposure. 
None of his father's family then feeling as he 
did on these subjects, he expected their ridi- 
cule, and " the world's dread laugh ; " but 
when he resignedly put his convictions into 
practice, instead of this, his family treated him 
with greater kindness and tenderness than 
heretofore. During these religious exercises 
he read much in the Scriptures of Truth, and 
found great instruction and consolation in them. 

Notwithstanding his mind was thus brought 
into subjection to the Divine Will, he did not 
soon make a request to be joined in member- 

1 8 Memoir of 

ship with Friends, feeling it to be a great 
thing to take upon him so high a profession as 
that of being led and guided by the Spirit of 
Truth. Thus, from an apprehension of his 
own unworthiness, he put off what he felt 
to be a requisition of his Divine Master, until 
about the year 1813, when he was readily re- 
ceived by the Monthly Meeting of Westbury. 

In twelfth month, 1815, we were married. 
Soon after he appeared in the ministry, 
and here again he had to go down into deep 
humiliation, sore conflicts, and baptisms; but 
patiently abiding under the preparing hand, he 
became qualified to preach the gospel in the 
power and authority thereof, and in due time 
his gift was acknowledged by Friends. 

Although not lengthy in his communica- 
tions, he was sometimes close and searching, 
and, being faithful to the requirings of his 
Heavenly Father, he was enabled to do his 
day's work in the daytime. When laid on the 
bed of sickness, previous to his death, he said he 
had nothing to do but to bear the sufferings 
of the body. For eighteen months he was con- 
fined, mostly to his chamber, with consump- 

Rachael Hicks. 19 

tion ; much of the time his sufferings were 
severe, but he bore all with great patience 
and resignation. Hearing of several sudden 
deaths, he remarked, "Oh! how they have 
been favored ! What have I done that I must 
lie here so long and suffer? I see nothing in 
my way. If I had any more service for my 
Lord and Master I believe He would make 
me sensible of it, but I see nothing more than 
patiently to wait until the end ; although I 
desire to be released, all is centred in ' Thy 
will be done.' " Thus he lay, still and quiet ; 
so much so that in the evening it was some 
times remarked that he had had a comfort- 
able day, to which he replied, " I have had 
as much pain as I was able to endure; but to 
tell of it would not relieve it. I am some- 
times tried as to an hair's-breadth, but I 
endeavor to be patient." 

Thus, without a complaint, the body wasted 
away, but the mind remained clear and bright 
until the closing scene. On the 8th of 5th 
mo., 1827, the immortal spirit was released 
from its suffering tenement, and, we doubt not, 
entered into everlasting rest and peace. 

2O Memoir of 

We had'lived together eleven years in har- 
mony and unity of spirit, being favored to see 
eye to eye in those doctrines which for several 
years previous to his sickness had been dis- 
cussed and controverted in the Society of 
Friends, tending to lessen and break up the 
sweet unity and free social intercourse which 
from the beginning had been enjoyed in a re- 
markable degree. And this was cause of sorrow 
to us. During his sickness he requested that 
the subject might not be conversed upon in his 
presence, or the books and papers published 
brought into his room ; often saying, " If 
Friends would be still and retired in spirit be- 
fore the Lord, it would be better for them." 

In his own experience he had never found 
any other enemy to his soul's peace than that 
which he felt within him, which he believed 
belonged to his human nature, and he had no 
hope of redemption but by the Divine life of 
God in his soul, cleansing it from the inordi- 
nate desires of the flesh, and giving him the 
victory over temptation. Thus he knew 
Christ within to be the " resurrection and the 
life." These things he had learned by ex- 

Rachael Hicks. 21 

perience in the conflicts and baptisms of his 
early religious exercises. I fully united with 
him in his views of the Christian religion, hav- 
ing learned them, also, in my own experience 
in early life. 

I likewise feel it right for me, and due to my 
ancestors, to record some account of their re- 
ligious experiences. Of my dear father, Gideon 
Seaman, it may be truly said that through life 
he had been remarkable for consistency, up- 
rightness, and integrity. He was deeply con- 
cerned for the maintenance of all our testimo- 
nies, traveled much as a companion to minis- 
ters in the service of their Lord and Master, 
and on committees of our Yearly and subordi- 
nate meetings, and also filled with usefulness 
many important stations in our Society. Es- 
pecially as an elder he was considered a father 
in Israel. His house and heart were open to 
receive his friends, and very many have par- 
taken, under his roof, of his kindness and 
hospitality. In early life he was closely united 
in spirit with those who had become uneasy 
with the holding of slaves by Friends; and 
was one of the faithful laborers, in that day, 

22 Memoir of 

in promoting emancipation. After Friends 
had liberated their slaves, he, with others, 
felt a concern to remunerate those who had 
labored for their former owners after the age 
for which white children were usually bound. 

After this was accomplished in Westbury 
Monthly Meeting (from which Jericho Monthly 
Meeting had not then been set off), some con- 
cerned Friends formed an association called 
the " Charity Society," which is still in opera- 
tion, and a fund was raised, the interest of 
which was used, and still is, for the schooling 
of colored children, I well remember hearing 
my father speak of the satisfaction these labors 
yielded to his mind, believing that Friends 
had done all that the principles of justice and 
mercy required of them in this particular. 

In his serious reflections on the prob- 
able result to the African race amongst us, it 
settled on his mind as a truth that if white 
people dealt justly by them, and they them- 
selves improved the privileges liberty gave 
them, they would become useful citizens ; but 
if they were idle and dissipated in their habits, 
they would dwindle and be removed out of 

Rachael Hicks. 23 

the way which, in some instances, he lived 
to see verified. During the remainder of his 
life, until his mind was impaired by paralysis, 
he was concerned and careful to avoid using 
the produce of slave labor thus bearing a 
faithful and consistent testimony against this 
great and crying evil. 

But we see, notwithstanding, exemplified in 
his life and experience, that good works, 
though indispensable to the Christian, and 
which were in him the fruits of the Spirit, are 
not of themselves sufficient to effect the soul's 
salvation. In a time of close trial he did not 
rely upon these, but upon the mercy and good- 
ness of God for admittance into the Kingdom 
of Heaven. At one time he said, " I have 
thought much of the expression in a letter of 
Elias Hicks to Hugh Judge, that if we are 
saved at last it is ' through unmerited mercy ; ' 
a great and good saying." This he expressed 
during a short illness in 1831, in the eighty- 
eighth year of his age. 

Under a heavy weight of exercise of mind, 
at a time when his recovery seemed doubtful, 
he said, " It is a great thing at such a time 

24 Memoir of 

as this to feel fully approved in the Divine 
Sight. Many men pass along pretty well ; 
but we are so prone to evil so much for the 
world and the things thereof which are of lit- 
tle value compared with that which is to come. 
At such a time as this it will not do, it is not 
enough ; what are ten thousand worlds com- 
pared with the salvation of the immortal soul ! " 
He soon after added, " It is an awful thing to 
die." In reply it was said to him, that we ap- 
prehended he was ready, and saw nothing in 
his way. He answered, " I do not feel that 
full assurance that I would wish." It was re- 
marked to him that the Divine Master had to 
say when near the close, " Why hast thou for- 
saken me? " On being reminded of his great 
faithfulness in doing that which he believed to 
be right, he replied, " Yes, mainly but I was 
called to the ministry about fifty years ago. 
The cross was so great that I gave up but a few 
times, for which I felt great peace ; but the 
fear of man prevailed, so that I did not give 
up fully, and thus I lost my reward and my 
strength, and suffered great distress of mind. 
I now feel poor and dry, and good for nothing ; 

Rachael Hicks. 25 

but I keep my mind inward and strive for 
patience. My life may be prolonged ; if so, I 
shall feel humbly thankful." 

I was deeply affected to see my aged parent 
thus stripped and proved, and said in my 
heart, "The fear of man prevailed in him, even 
to disobedience to his Creator; but, in this 
solemn moment, where are they of whom he 
was afraid in early life ? They have all passed 
away, and he is left alone ; of all that genera- 
tion there is not one now to soothe or re- 
buke him." Oh! reader, whoever thou art, 
take warning, and fear Him only who lives for- 

Through Divine favor my dear father did re- 
cover his health, and for years until a stroke 
of paralysis deprived him of speech gave 
abundant evidence that his mind centred in 
waiting upon the Lord, and I have no doubt 
that this season of deep suffering and conflict 
was dispensed for his purification ; to prepare 
the soul for that state of bliss and joy in store 
for the righteous through all eternity with the 
innumerable host who " came out of great 
tribulation, and have washed their robes and 

26 Memoir of 

made them white in the blood of the Lamb," 
which is the Divine life of God in the soul. 
He died in his ninety-third year. 

My father's father, Thomas Seaman, died in 
1804, aged about ninety-two. Although he 
had been religiously concerned from his youth, 
in early manhood he bought a colored man, 
whom, being of an unpleasant temper, he sold 
but when Friends became concerned on the 
subject of holding slaves, he bought him back 
again, and set him free. I record this to show 
the necessity of charity and forbearance one 
with another. Friends in this country were 
brought up in familiarity with the practice of 
holding slaves, and many faithful ones did not 
see its inconsistency while the slaves were 
kindly treated. But being faithfully obedient, 
in due time the eye of the mind was opened to 
see that liberty was the right of all, without 
distinction of color or nation. Thus there was 
an advancement in purity of life and conduct, 
consequent upon an advancement in the life 
and power of Truth. 

My grandfather was regular in his attend- 
ance of our religious meetings until very ad- 

Rachael Hicks. 27 

vanced age. I well remember his serious coun- 
tenance and dignified deportment, especially 
in meetings. Friends in this neighborhood 
having lived in great simplicity and plainness, 
he was grieved in old age to see a change tak- 
ing place ; and often with a sigh would say, 
" Pride and greatness are creeping in among 
Friends." Another common expression of his 
was, " Gratitude for our many favors is much 
wanting among mankind." 

His father, Nathaniel Seaman, was also a re- 
ligiously concerned Friend. In early life he 
married Rachel, daughter of Henry and Mary 
Willis valuable Friends who came from Eng- 
land, and bought a tract of land of John Sea- 
man, and named it Westbury, after Westbury 
in England. In my childhood, adjoining the 
house I now live in, stood one they built in 
1688 ; a meeting was alternately held here, and 
at the house of a neighboring Friend named 
Titus, some time before a meeting-house 
was built in the place. Not long after the 
marriage of Nathaniel Seaman, he bought 
this farm of his wife's father, Henry Willis, 
who removed to Jericho, and was the an- 

28 Memoir of 

cestor of those in that locality who bear his 

John Seaman, the father of Nathaniel, bought 
of the Indians the tract of land above alluded 
to. He was not a member of our Society, al- 
though, from incidents in his life which my 
father, with great satisfaction, used to relate, it 
appears that he was, in some degree, a Friend 
in principle. On one occasion the men of the 
village of Hempstead, where he resided, sent 
to him (as he was Justice of the Peace) for a 
warrant to take up a Quaker who had had a 
meeting there, which he refused, saying, " If he 
has not broken the peace, let him go about his 
business." The Friend, in conversation with a 
priest, was seen to have the best of the argu- 
ment, and was therefore an overmatch for him I 
but the people, intent on their purpose, went 
to another magistrate and obtained a warrant, 
and the Quaker was tied to the hinder part of 
a cart, and thus taken to Jamaica and put into 

At another time John Seaman (as he was 
also captain of the militia) was informed that a 
large number of Indians were coming to cut 

Rachael Hicks. 29 

off the white people. This brought him under 
a great weight of exercise ; but, turning his 
mind to the Almighty for counsel and. direc- 
tion, he felt prepared to go out with the few 
white men of the then small village, to whom, 
although armed, he gave positive orders not to 
fire on the Indians unless he gave them the 
order. Thus he met the thousand that were 
marching toward them, and ordered the head 
man or chief to stop, and, obtaining from him 
a promise that the Indians should do no harm, 
he told them they might go on, and, walking 
by his side, he perceived the chief to tremble. 
Captain John Seaman as his own son Na- 
thaniel related to my father ever after spoke 
of the circumstance with seriousness as a Provi- 
dential deliverance. I feel it right to record 
this account as an evidence to show that had 
the aborigines of our country always been 
wisely and justly dealt with, room would have 
been made for the white settlers without the 
shedding of blood. 

My mother's ancestors, Thomas and Mary 
Dobson,were Friends. They came from Eng- 
land and settled in the city of New York when 

30 Memoir of 

it was very small. They were remarkable for 
amiability and sweetness of spirit, and many of 
their numerous posterity were and are Friends 
who exhibited these desirable traits of char- 

Rachael Hicks. 31 


1828 TO 1833. 

Separation in New York Yearly Meeting Her Religious 
Experiences and Exercises Death of Two Children. 

HAVING given a brief account of my ances- 
tors, I now return to my own narrative and 
continue it in the cross to my own will, not 
liking to speak or write of myself, yet feeljng 
that ere this is beheld by mortal eye, I shall 
have passed into that state in which the opin- 
ions of men cannot reach or affect me. 

In 1828 the Separation in New York Yearly 
Meeting occurred, which brought a close trial 
upon me, as many Friends, with my aged parent, 
whom I had loved almost to veneration, were of 
those called "Orthodox," who now left us, whom 
they termed " Hicksites." Although I had 
taken no part in the controversy, I was sorely 
grieved, for I saw- that differences of opinion 
separated very dear friends. My venerable 
father was sorrowful because I could not go 

32 Memoir of 

with him ; and I said, in my heart, " How can 
it be that my Heavenly Father requires of me 
that which seems to be bringing down the gray 
hairs of my earthly parent with sorrow to the 
grave ? " 

Oh, how often, at these trying seasons, 
did the language of the Holy Jesus, who 
declared that He " came to bear witness unto 
the truth," revive in my mind ! " He that lov- 
eth father or mother more than me is not 
worthy of me; " and again, " Every one that 
hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or 
father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, 
for my name's sake, shall receive an hundred- 
fold, and shall inherit everlasting life." I felt 
that not only the good opinion of many I 
dearly loved was to be given up, but houses 
and lands also ; all of these I was made willing 
to resign for acceptance with my Father in 
Heaven through and by obedience to Christ, 
the power and wisdom of God in my soul ; for 
in no other way could I see salvation by 
Christ. On account of this, when I lay on a 
bed of sickness, doubtful of recovery, I was 
told by eminent ministers that I was deluded 

Rachael Hicks. 33 

and wandering from the right path, and could 
not be saved unless I believed in the atoning 
blood of Christ on the cross, etc., etc. 

Deep were my exercises, especially when I 
saw my father's sad countenance and remem- 
bered his pleading with me; and, for his sake, I 
wished T could subscribe to those doctrines 
called " Orthodox." Strong were my petitions 
to my Heavenly Father that if I had all my life 
long been mistaken, He would open my eyes 
to see it, and enable me to come out of every 
doctrine and opinion that was not consistent 
with His will concerning me. Never has He 
given me to see that the early impressions on 
my mind, to obey His will inwardly revealed, 
as the only way to the kingdom of Heaven, 
were to be given up, or any other substituted 
for this plain and simple way. And, at this 
time, the more I read and heard of the decla- 
ration of their plan of salvation, the more I 
was confirmed in the belief of the all-sufficiency 
of the "Grace of God," through His mercy, to 
bring salvation to the obedient soul. 

I well remember in early life when I read 
some of the writings of ancient Friends and the 

34 Memoir of 

declarations of the apostles in the New Testa- 
ment concerning the blood of the body of Jesus 
Christ, shed on the Cross, being the propitiation 
for the sins of mankind, I reflected and could 
not comprehend it, and asked my father for an 
explanation, telling him that when I sinned I 
suffered justly for my sins, and when I repented 
my gracious Creator forgave me and received 
me again into favor ; but I could not see or feel 
that it was just for that Holy Personage to suf- 
fer to atone for my sins. My dear father replied 
that the doctrine was too deep for my young 
and inexperienced mind ; it was better for me 
to leave it and attend simply to the teaching 
of the Spirit of Truth in my own soul, which 
was sufficient for me. This reply I repeated to 
him when he, in 1828, in great sincerity and 
concern, labored with me for (as he believed) 
my unbelief and unsoundness. He said, " It 
maybe I was deficient in thy education ; " but, 
after a time of solemn silence, added, " I have 
nothing better to recommend to thee, now, 
than obedience to this inward monitor." 

A few months after, when I was severely ill, 
seeing his exercised countenance as he sat by 

Rachael Hicks. 35 

my bedside, I desired one of my attendants to 
say to him that my mind was quiet and peace- 
ful as regarded the course I had taken, and, 
should my mortal life now close, I saw noth- 
ing in my way to rest and joy in Heaven. 
He seemed relieved, and I believe that the 
idea that there was no salvation for us was re- 
moved, and he often manifested that his love 
flowed to our members as well as to those of 
his portion of the Society of Friends. 

And now, as I write this, after years of re- 
flection and observation of the effect of pro- 
mulgating opinions and doctrines not essen- 
tial in themselves, especially on the mission of 
Christ in that prepared body, I am confirmed 
in the belief that it tends to unprofitable dis- 
cussion and controversy, and often to aliena- 
tion of love for one another. Therefore these 
should be avoided, taking in lieu thereof His 
own testimony of Himself, that He came " to 
bear witness unto the Truth," testifying of 
those eternal principles that are indispensable 
to the happiness of mankind in this world and 
the world to come. Had all the members of 
our Society lived in the life and power of the 

36 Memoir of 

religion He taught, the opinions our worthy 
predecessors were educated to believe concern- 
ing the depravity of our nature by Adam's 
transgression, and the propitiation for the sins 
of mankind by the shedding of the blood of 
Jesus on the Cross, would have been left be- 
hind as non-essential, without controversy or 

Had love of God abounded in the heart, it 
would have been seen that obedience to Him 
in all things was the plan of salvation ordained 
by Him from the foundation of the world, and 
we should then have remained a united people 
of great influence in gathering the nations to 
the peaceable kingdom of Him who was ush- 
ered into the world with the anthem, " Glory 
to God in the highest, and on earth peace, 
good-will to men ! " 

This sad Separation caused me much mental 
suffering, many deep exercises, and a close 
searching of heart, in which no other power 
could have sustained me but the invincible arm 
of Omnipotence, which was underneath to 
bear me up and carry me through many suc- 
cessive waves of affliction. In all these trials 

Rachael Hicks. 37 

my Heavenly Father did not leave me, al- 
though I had not given up to the work of the 
ministry as He required. 

In 1 2th mo., 1831, a few months after I had 
made a surrender of my will to my Divine 
Master to speak in the assemblies of the peo- 
ple, for which I oft felt His peace to flow in 
my heart as a river, I had another close trial in 
the removal by death of my son, Gideon Hicks, 
aged eight years. He was a remarkably good 
child ; at times giving evidence that he felt 
the sweet incomes of his Heavenly Father's 
love keeping him in innocency and mildness of 
spirit. At one time earnestly inviting his two 
brothers and a little girl to sit down with him 
in silence, he soon rose and feelingly said, 
" You must be good, and then you will go to 
Heaven ; but if you are not good you cannot 
go to Heaven," which brought tears from some 
of their eyes. He loved to go to religious 
meetings, to read the Scriptures, and also good 
books ; in short, he seemed too ripe for 
Heaven to dwell longer on earth. 

In 1833, my oldest son, William K. Hicks, 
after a short illness was also removed from 

38 Memoir of 

works to rewards, in the eighteenth year of 
his age. For several months previously he 
appeared under religious exercise of mind, and 
when taken ill was unwilling to have a physi- 
cian called, because he was impressed with the 
belief that he would not recover, seeing death 
and eternity clearly before him. His disease 
being inflammation of the brain, he was mostly 
delirious, yet at lucid intervals he spoke freely 
of the state of his mind. 

At one time he desired all to leave the room 
but myself, and told me that at times when in 
health he had had doubts of the immortality 
of the soul, and of future rewards and punish- 
ments; but now he said, " I have no doubts ; 
I see clearly there is a state of peace and joy 
for the good, and misery for the wicked." He 
felt it required of him to acknowledge the 
errors of his life, which had been few and small, 
except speaking too hastily, which was his 
greatest difficulty ; he had endeavored to over- 
come it, he said, and hoped now to be for- 
given. He had felt the loss of his father to be 
a great disadvantage to him. In laboring on 
a farm, he unavoidably had to mingle with 

Rachael Hicks. 39 

unprofitable company, and earnestly and re- 
peatedly enjoined it upon me to keep his little 
brother, whom he was now leaving, away from 
such hurtful examples. Having done all that 
he felt was required, his mind was peaceful ; 
and seeing nothing in his way to rest and joy 
in Heaven, he became more than willing to 
die, saying, " I would rather go now. If I 
recover I may be overcome by temptation, 
and never so well prepared as I am now." 

These successive bereavements, and the 
slender constitution of my only surviving child, 
seemed at times heavier than I could bear; 
but the evidence given that they had passed 
from a world of trial to a state of never-ending 
felicity reconciled me to my lot. 

4O Memoir of 


1833 TO 1839. 

The Acknowledgment of her Gift in the Ministry Re- 
ligious Visit to Nine Partners and Stanford Quarterly 
Meetings as Companion to Phebe I. Merritt Attends 
the Yearly Meeting of Philadelphia as Companion to 
Sarah Hicks Obtains a Minute to attend the Quarterly 
Meetings of Stanford and Duanesburgh and appoint some 
Meetings Minute to attend the Yearly Meetings of 
Genesee, Ohio, and Indiana, and Subordinate Meetings 
Incidents of the Journey. 

IN 1833, the meetings having charge of these 
matters recommended me as a minister ; and 
in 1836, I felt it a requisition of my Divine 
Master to accompany that devoted servant of 
the Lord, Phebe I. Merritt, in attending the 
Quarterly Meetings of Nine Partners and Stan- 
ford, and appointing some meetings within 
their limits our respective Monthly Meetings 
having given each of us a minute of approba- 

In the prosecution of the visit an incident 

Rachael Hicks. 41 

occurred which I will relate as evidencing the 
propriety of this rule of our discipline. A 
meeting having been appointed for us at Hyde 
Park, where no Friends' meeting was held, a 
prominent man of the place, who felt an inter- 
est in the purposes for which the house was 
used which had been provided for us, met us 
before we went in, and asked us if we had any 
documents to show that we were approved at 
home ; adding, " There are so many renegades 
in this day, we do not like any to go into our 
house but ordained ministers." We told him 
our certificates were in our trunks, some dis- 
tance off. A man Friend whom he knew as- 
sured him that he had heard them read ; this 
satisfied him, and he allowed us to go into the 
house. The meeting was a satisfactory one, 
Phebe I. Merritt having most of the labor to 
perform. Some months -after I accompanied 
the same dear Friend in a visit to the families 
of New York Monthly Meeting, and in ap- 
pointing some meetings in that city, in parts 
of it where no Friends' meetings were held. 

On another occasion during this service we 
were interrogated upon a different point. A 

42 Memoir of 

house having been obtained for a meeting that 
was owned or occupied by Jews, one of them 
came to us with evident concern about our 
going in, saying, " There is but one God wor- 
shiped in this house." I replied on our be- 
half, " We worship the God that Abraham, 
Isaac, and Jacob worshiped, and none other." 
This satisfied him, and we went in, and the 
people appeared satisfied. I felt my heart to 
overflow with love and solicitude for the de- 
scendants of these faithful patriarchs. 

In 1837, in company with my beloved friend 
Sarah Hicks, I attended the Yearly Meeting in 
Philadelphia. In all these visits I felt I was 
only a companion to those who had been to me, 
and many others, nursing Mothers in Israel. 
The weight of concern rested mostly on them, 
yet I felt it not a light thing to accompany 
them, although they each requested it, and I 
believed my Heavenly Father required it of me. 
I now look back with great satisfaction that I 
gave up to the service, if in any degree I was an 
armor-bearer in the winding up of their labors 
in the evening of life for these visits were 
nearly their last labors from home. 

Rachael Hicks. 43 

When I felt the command to go out on my 
own concern, and appoint meetings, and invite 
the people to those that came in course, the 
weight and responsibility resting upon me was 
indeed heavy ; and I felt a secret fear lest, 
through unwatchfulness, or unfaithfulness, I 
might bring dishonor upon the meetings set- 
ting me at liberty ; or on the cause of righteous- 
ness, which I felt concerned to promote. The 
same spirit of departure from faith in, and obe- 
dience to, the Divine principle in the soul, 
which was the root and ground-work of the sad 
Separation in 1828, was still at work in the 
minds of many bearing our name. 

It was bringing forth its own legitimate fruits 
in various ways, and made hard labor and deep 
exercise for the poor servants, who had no confi- 
dence in, or dependence upon, their own human 
wisdom, or acquired knowledge to enable them 
to perform their duty to their Creator and to 
one another. I earnestly desired to move in 
Divine appointment, so as to give no occasion 
for stirring up controversies that tend to re- 
tard, rather than promote, the spreading of the 
principles of the Christian religion. 

44 Memoir of 

Seeing no other way to enjoy that peace 
of mind which the world can neither give nor 
take from us, than to yield my own will, and 
follow my Divine Master whithersoever He saw 
meet to lead me, often in great weakness and 
an humbling sense of my own insufficiency have 
I testified of the all-sufficiency of the " Grace 
of God " to lead into all righteousness and pre- 
serve from all error. 

As I have already stated, I passed twenty 
years in the omission of a known duty that of 
rising and addressing gathered assemblies met 
to worship the Most High. My day's work 
was thus delayed, and when a full surrender of 
my will through much suffering was made, and 
the loving kindness of my Heavenly Father still 
extended, in obedience to the requirings of 
His will, I was frequently drawn in spirit to 
visit the meetings and Friends throughout our 
Society as the following memoranda will show : 

In 7th mo., 1837, I laid before our Monthly 
Meeting a concern to attend the Quarterly 
Meetings of Stanford and Duanesburgh, to visit 
some families, and appoint meetings as way 
opened. It gave me a minute which I returned 

Rachael Hicks. 45 

in loth month, then opening a concern to at- 
tend Baltimore Yearly Meeting and appoint 
some meetings within its compass. For this 
the Monthly Meeting also gave me a minute 
which I returned in the nth month, with 
the information that the visit had been per- 

Having obtained a minute of our Monthly 
Meeting to attend the Yearly Meetings of Gen- 
esee, Ohio, and Indiana, and the meetings com_ 
posing them, I started on my journey thither 
on the 1st of 6th mo., 1838, in company with 
my kind friends William Willets, Maria Farring- 
ton, and my son Abraham. After the close of 
our Yearly Meeting, and a solemn opportunity 
with a large number of Friends, at the resi- 
dence of Amos Willet, in which the magnitude 
of the undertaking, the perils that might at- 
tend, the uncertainty of returning, were deeply 
felt, and Divine guidance and protection sought 
after and recommended, we left the city of 
New York by boat for Albany, and thence 
traveled by public conveyances to Skaneateles, 
arriving there in about two days. From this 
place my cousin, Simeon Loines, took us to 

46 Memoir of 

Farmington, where we attended Genesee Year- 
ly Meeting. 

After its close we went to Michigan, visited 
meetings there, and then went to Toledo to 
take passage on Lake Erie for Cleveland, 
Ohio. Soon after we entered the steamboat 
we were informed that the night previous a 
sad accident had occurred on the lake, a boat 
was burnt and many lives were lost. This 
brought a deep exercise over my mind, and 
caused a close investigation of the course I 
was pursuing, as to whether I was justified 
in being the means of exposing my com- 
panions to danger, etc. Feeling a renewed 
sense that I was not there in my own will, but 
in accordance with what I believed in sincerity 
to be the will of my Heavenly Father, and in 
His care and keeping, I felt safe in pursuing 
the journey, as to whatever might come upon 
us, in the outward. Having full confidence in 
His superintending care over all that He has 
made, especially His accountable creature 
man, I believe that He will not permit any- 
thing to come upon us that is not designed for 
our best interest, although in our human rea- 

Rachael Hicks. 47 

soningwe may not be able to see it. Notwith- 
standing my firm trust in an over-ruling Provi- 
dence, my natural feelings were roused when I 
heard the first motion of the machinery taking 
us out on the lake; but through His loving 
kindness I kept calm and quiet, and we arrived 
safely at our destined port among our friends 
the next day. After visiting several meetings 
of Friends within the compass of Ohio Yearly 
Meeting, I was taken sick at a Friend's house, 
near New Lisbon, and confined there nearly 
three weeks. Here again my faith and alle- 
giance to my Creator were tried, but through 
all He was pleased to say, " Peace, be still," 
and a precious calm was experienced. Blessed 
be His name, saith my spirit and all within me 
capable of feeling. 

After leaving Cleveland, my companion Wil- 
liam Willets purchased for us a plain but com- 
fortable carriage and team of horses, with which, 
when I was sufficiently recovered, we traveled 
to Mount Pleasant. We arrived there on Sec- 
ond day evening, and attended the remainder 
of the Yearly Meeting, which had commenced 
the Seventh day previous. Here our kind and 

48 Memoir of 

very useful companion William Willets left us ; 
and our beloved friend James C. Haviland met 
us, arrd remained with us to the end of the 

At the close of the Yearly Meeting, after 
finishing our visit to all the meetings compos- 
ing it, we went to Waynesville and attended 
Indiana Yearly Meeting. At its close we vis- 
ited all the meetings constituting it, except 
one, and returned home in the I2th month, hav- 
ing been absent about seven months. I did 
not keep an account of the number of meetings 
we attended, nor of the miles we had traveled, 
fearing the creature might be tempted to boast. 
Feeling my own weakness and inability, I was 
often led to wonder and query "Why is it that 
one so little in every sense of the word as I 
feel myself to be, should be required to travel 
so much and so far abroad?" but the inspired 
writer bore the testimony, " Not many wise 
men after the flesh, not many mighty," etc., " are 
called ; " " and God hath chosen the weak things 
of the world to confound the things which are 

Several times in the course of this journey, 

Rachael Hicks. 49 

as I have said, my faith and trust in the super- 
intending care of Providence were closely 
proved. One evening, after crossing a bridge 
in the darkness of night, having had our fears 
and doubts of its being safe to do so, but arriv- 
ing safely at the door of a hotel beyond it, we 
were told we could have lodgings there if we 
would all take one room with the mistress of 
the house. We consented to these terms be- 
cause it seemed not safe to go further. 

At the supper-table a large number of trav- 
elers were seated, some of them Southern men. 
Their conversation was mostly about the 
"Yankees," toward whom they appeared to 
feel a deep and settled hatred. When we arose 
from the table, our companion, James C. Havi- 
land, came to Maria Farrington and myself, 
and gave us an earnest caution not to let any 
one there know that we came from beyond 
the Alleghany Mountains, as the Southerners 
looked upon all such as " Yankees," and we 
would not be safe in that house. Under these 
feelings we retired to our room, and, after ly- 
ing some time upon our pillows, instead of the 
mistress of the house, the man himself came in 


50 Memoir of 

and went to bed. After a short time he arose 
and searched on the mantel for I knew not 
what. The thought occurred to me, he may be 
looking for some instrument to take our lives; 
but what can I do to save us but trust in 
Providential protection? In this feeling and 
confidence I lay still and quiet. After a while 
the man found a key, wound up the clock, and 
lay down again in the room. Although thank- 
fulness filled my heart, I was not sensible of 
sleeping one moment that night. 

The next day we traveled on toward Terre 
Haute, but, the roads being muddy, we did 
not reach our resting-place until late in the 
evening. It was so dark, and being through 
forests on both sides, we could not see the 
road, nor did we know what danger our horses 
might step into the next moment. Silently 
and quietly trusting in Him who thus far had 
preserved us, we arrived safely at a public- 
house, where my companion and myself were 
put into a room where there were several 
doors without lock or fastening, two outside 
doors, and one opening into the bar-room. 
My trust being in an Omnipotent Protector I 

Rachael Hicks. 51 

slept well, and, in the morning, thankfully 
looking round and seeing all our things safe. 
I said in my heart, " What would become of 
me if I did not confide in a Supreme Being 
who is all goodness, power, and love?" 

Other similar circumstances I might relate, 
but the foregoing are sufficient to show my 
faith in Him who has never failed to keep, as in 
the hollow of His hand, all those who have 
looked to Him in all ages of the world. 
Blessed, forever blessed, be His holy name ! 
It was not only outwardly, but spiritually, that 
He strengthened us. Sometimes in riding to 
the meeting-house, when information had been 
given that we were to be there, and seeing a 
larger collection of people than I expected, 
I felt ready to faint and sink in despair, sup- 
posing that they were looking for words, and I 
felt poor and empty, and had nothing for them. 
But as I looked to Him who I believed had 
called me, He blessed the little found in their 
midst, comparable to the " five barley loaves " 
formerly, and the people were not, in any in- 
stance, sent away without being invited to at- 
tend to the " one thing needful," the " Spirit of 

52 Memoir of 

Truth " in their own souls. Great want of Di- 
vine life was felt in these meetings ; but in 
nearly all of them there were livingly con- 
cerned members, around whom others gath- 
ered. Thus a remnant has been saved amid 
the falling away of too many from the foun- 
dation upon which the Church of Christ is built 
and ever stands. 

One more circumstance I feel most easy to 
record. When we had finished visiting all the 
meetings in those Western States, and were 
about to return home our horses having sev- 
eral times run away, and our carriage often 
having to be repaired, though in great mercy 
not one of us had been injured my mind was 
brought under great exercise. We had moun- 
tains to cross over and bad roads still to en- 
counter ; but looking to the one Source of con- 
solation, my Father in Heaven, the language 
ere long was sounded in the ear of my soul, 
" Journey homeward and thy life shall be given 
thee, and the lives of those that are with thee." 

Thus all fear was taken from me, and in 
sweet peace of mind we all arrived safely home 
at our several dwelling-places. 

Rachael Hicks 53 

As a warning to some who may read this 
when I shall have passed away, I will record 
my unwillingness, when at Blue River, to give 
up to visit the families of Friends there. It 
was late in the season, and I had my reason- 
ings in favor of setting off for home. When 
we were ready to step into the carriage, our 
horses took fright and ran away, breaking our 
carriage so that several days were required to 
repair it. How was I struck with a sense of 
my disobedience! And, after all, I must enter 
upon that arduous labor! I did so, and then 
peacefully journeyed homeward. Thus I 
learned, time after time, how much more we 
lose than gain by disobedience. 

54 Memoir of 

1839 T0 

Obtains a Minute to attend the Quarterly Meetings of Pur- 
chase and Shrewsbury and Rahway, and the Meetings com- 
posing them Minutes to attend the Yearly Meetings of 
Genesee, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Ohio, Indiana, and all 
the Meetings constituting them, and also for Service in her 
own Yearly Meeting. 

IN /th mo., 1839, I applied for and received 
from our Monthly Meeting a minute to visit 
the Quarterly Meetings of Purchase, Shrews- 
bury, and Rahway, and the meetings compos- 
ing them. 

In 1840, having for my companions William 
Willets and Maria Farrington, also my son 
Abraham, I attended Genesee Yearly Meeting 
and all the meetings composing it. After ac- 
complishing the visit we journeyed to King- 
ston, Canada, to take passage for the United 
States. Here I felt it a duty to my Lord and 
Master to appoint a meeting, and the way 

Rachael Hicks. 55 

opened for it. The next morning, walking to 
the boat, we found the wind blowing, and the 
water very rough ; my son stepped up to me, 
and said, " Mother, does thee feel easy to go 
out on the river and lake, when the wind is so 
high? " I replied, " Yes, my son, as I resigned 
my will to my Maker, to have the meeting last 
evening, I feel easy to go." We went on the 
open boat. William Willets had to stand by 
our horses to keep them quiet, and the other 
three of us sat close together in solemn silence, 
looking at the waves which dashed in the boat, 
keeping a man there bailing the water out, 
while another was at the mast with an axe in 
his hand ready to cut it down if a gale which 
they thought was coming should strike us. 
It passed by, and we through it all were fa- 
vored with calmness and quietude of mind, 
trusting in Him who is able to deliver to the 
very uttermost all those who rely upon Him. 
We arrived safely at our desired port, and in 
due time at our own homes, in that peace of 
mind the world can neither give nor take 

And now, after a number of revolving years, 

56 Memoir of 

I have to say, that these, my dear compan- 
ions and faithful armor-bearers together with 
James C. Haviland, very lately have all passed 
away from this lower world, I trust to rest and 
joy in Heaven. I am left a little longer, and my 
desires are strong, and prayers are often put 
up to Him who has promised, "Ask, and ye 
shall receive," that I .may hold out to the end 
in faithful obedience, so as to be permitted to 
join these, and the host of the redeemed spir- 
its in Heaven, there to ascribe praises and hal- 
lelujahs to Him who is everlastingly worthy ! 

In 1841, I attended Philadelphia Yearly 
Meeting, and in 9th month of the same year 
appointed meetings in several places on Long 
Island remote from the established meetings 
of Friends. 1st mo., 1842, attended some of 
the Quarterly Meetings in Philadelphia Yearly 

4th mo., 1842, visited most of the meetings 
composing Philadelphia and Baltimore Yearly 

In 1843, attended the Yearly Meeting of 
Baltimore, and the meetings composing it, 
my kind and faithful friends Silas and Mary 

Rachael Hicks. 57 

Elizabeth Carle being my companions and 

1 844, attended Genesee Yearly Meeting, 
and a few meetings within our own Yearly 
Meeting. In I2th mo., 1844, 1 obtained a min- 
ute of our Monthly Meeting to visit some of 
the families of Friends and Friendly people in 
Westbury Quarterly Meeting. 

1845, I visited some of the families of 
Friends and Friendly people in New York, 
Westbury, and Jericho Monthly Meetings. 

1846, attended the Yearly Meeting of Phila- 
delphia. In the same year attended'the Quar- 
terly Meetings of Nine Partners and Stanford, 
and appointed a few meetings within their limits. 

In 1847, visited the families of Flushing 
Monthly Meeting, and a few within the limits 
of Westbury Monthly Meeting ; and attended 
the Yearly Meetings of Philadelphia and Bal- 
timore, and some of the Quarterly and other 
Meetings within their limits. 

In 1849, visited the Quarterly and Monthly 
Meetings, and appointed some meetings within 
the compass of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting. 

As I have already stated, when my own will 

58 Memoir of 

was fully given up to the will of my Heavenly 
Father, I was frequently drawn to visit Friends 
in various places, and on opening my concern 
to our Monthly Meeting, I believe that they 
gave me every time, in sympathy and unity, a 
minute or certificate, which when necessary the 
Quarterly Meeting endorsed. All of these, in 
due season, I returned, with the information 
that the visits had been performed to the re- 
lief and peace of my mind, and I may here add, 
through the goodness and loving-kindness of 
my Heavenly Father; therefore all praise and 
thanksgiving are due to Him. I felt my own 
weakness and inability to do any good word or 
work without Divine aid and qualification, and 
as I relied upon Him, He in mercy fulfilled 
the promise, "Ask, and ye shall receive." He 
is a present helper in the needful time, my 
soul knoweth by experience. Blessed, forever 
blessed, be His name ! saith all within me ca- 
pable of feeling. 

In 1852, I felt drawn in spirit to attend the 
Yearly Meetings of Ohio and Indiana and some 
of the remote meetings belonging to them, and 
also to visit the few Friends in Michigan. Hav- 

Rachael Hicks. 59 

ing often renewed my covenant with my God 
to follow Him whithersoever He should lead 
me, the spirit at this time was willing but the 
flesh was weak, as the health of my son, and 
only surviving child, was evidently declining, 
Although I was able to travel short distances, 
the prospect of leaving him for a longer period 
brought a conflict of mind which seemed 
greater and heavier than I could bear. But 
He who sees the heart condescended to give 
me strength to resign my all to Him, and to 
confide to His superintending care the tender 
plant that was dearer to me than my own life. 
This dear son in 1838 accompanied me and 
my companions in a visit to all the meetings 
composing these two Yearly Meetings, and al- 
though then so young (being in his fourteenth 
year), he was often to me a wise counselor. 
When circumstances occurred calculated to 
disturb my unstable nature, his uniform lan- 
guage was, " Be still. Keep in the quiet." 
He ever after entered into all my concerns, 
and on this present trying occasion encour- 
aged me to faithful obedience to the requisi- 
tions of my Divine Father. 

60 Memoir of 

Being enabled to say, " Thy will be done," 
and having obtained certificates of concurrence 
from our Monthly and Quarterly Meetings, I 
left home in 8th month, in company with my 
kind and sympathizing friends Amos and Caro- 
line Willets. We visited Friends in Michigan, 
and attended the two Yearly Meetings of Ohio 
and Indiana, and several small meetings north 
of Richmond, as far as Laporte, and also those 
composing Blue River Quarterly Meeting, one 
of which was in the State of Illinois. 

In neighborhoods where a few Friends re- 
side, meetings were also appointed, and being 
remote from each other, this occasioned much 
traveling ; and the roads being very bad, it re- 
quired great faith to hold on our way. Express- 
ing my feelings in a letter to my son, he wrote 
in reply, " By faith Noah built the ark, and 
Paul said he had ' fought the good fight, and 
kept the faith/ " adding, " I trust you are all in 
your right places. Do your Master's work fear- 
lessly. Although you may meet with the great 
of the earth, fear them not, for their greatness 
o ften consists more in name than in reality." 
A word of encouragement from him whom I 

Rachael Hicks. 61 

had left, as to the outward, lonely at home, was 
like a brook by the way, as various discourage- 
ments pressed heavily at times on my deeply- 
exercised mind. Through all, I dared not turn 
back, fully believing that such were not fit for 
the Kingdom of Heaven. My will was given 
up to go still further West, but my companions 
not sharing the concern, I felt acquitted in the 
Divine sight, and the will was taken for the 
deed ; here I saw that this order of our Society 
was founded in the wisdom of Him who is a 
God of order. In an organized body there 
must be condescension to the body, that unity 
and harmony may be preserved. 

Now I felt easy to turn my face homeward, 
and soon after learned that our friends Nicholas 
and Margaret Brown had visited those remote 
settlements of Friends, and a Monthly Meeting 
one hundred miles from one we had attended, 
but had not been to those which we visited. 
So our good Master favored us as laborers, 
" each over against his own house," to do all 
we could to rebuild the walls of our Jerusalem, 
which, in the minds of many, appear to be 
broken down. In various places we had to see 

62 Memoir of 

and mourn over the desolating effects of a 
spirit to lay waste the order and discipline of 
our Society, in those who, leaning to their 
own understanding and human reason, in- 
troduce and advocate sentiments tending to 
undermine our faith in the teachings of the 
Holy Spirit. Although at times we felt as 
the prophet did when he said, " Israel hath 
forsaken Thy covenant and thrown down 
Thine altars;" yet, in many places, we met 
those who had not bowed to the gods of this 
world, but were worshiping Him in whom 
"we live, and move, and have our being." 
With these we had seasons of refreshment 
from the presence of the Lord. 

In our journey from Richmond until we re- 
turned there, our kind friend Cornelius Ratcliff 
accompanied us; without his wise counsel and 
cheerful aid we doubted whether we could 
have accomplished the visit. I had gratefully 
to acknowledge that He who sends forth 'His 
little dependent children, provides them with 
helpers. For these the aspiration of my soul 
oft has been, that they may have an abundant 

Rachael Hicks. 63 

We returned home after an absence of three 
months, and finding my son in about the same 
state of health as when I left him, I felt the 
tribute of praise and thanksgiving to ascend to 
his and my Caretaker and Protector. 

64 Memoir of 


1852 TO 1856. 

Illness and Death of her Son Abraham Tribute to his Worth 
Exercises in Prospect of further Labor Obtains a Min- 
ute to attend all the Meetings constituting New York 
Yearly Meeting Attends Baltimore Yearly Meeting and 
the Meetings constituting it Reflections upon the System 
of Slavery. 

FOR two years after my return from this 
journey I was released by my Heavenly Fa- 
ther from the concern of traveling abroad, be- 
ing in matchless condescension and goodness 
permitted to remain mostly at home, and de- 
vote my time and attention to my feeble son. 
His weakness of body gradually increased until 
the first of Eleventh month, 1854, when he 
quietly and sweetly departed this life, in the 
twenty-ninth year of his age, and, I fully be- 
lieve, entered into that glorious rest prepared 
for the righteous, of which he had a foretaste, 
and at seasons a clear view, whilst his physical 

Rachel Hicks. 65 

strength was gradually waning. Whilst I be- 
lieve the change to him is " great gain," the 
loss to me I feel to be incalculable. At his 
funeral it was said of him by a dear friend, 
" Wisdom is gray hair unto man, and an un- 
spotted life is old age." This was truly ap- 
plicable, as, by an early dedication to his Cre- 
ator, he witnessed an overcoming of human 
nature, so as to be preserved in an even, con- 
sistent deportment, not excelled by many in 
more advanced years. I had long looked to 
him as my earthly counselor and caretaker, 
and, as I had for years been bereaved of all my 
family besides, every fibre of my heart en- 
twined around him in the strong affection of a 
mother. Through all the years of his decline 
I had not dared to ask for the lengthening out 
of his life or the restoration of his health, for 
I felt that He who is all power, and whose 
wisdom is infinite, knew what was best for him 
and for me. 

To give him up was severing the tenderest 
tie in life, and removing my last outward prop 
and staff; yet, through mercy and goodness 
infinite, I was enabled often to say, in the 

66 Memoir of 

language of the Son and sent of God, " Oh, 
my Father, if this cup may not pass away 
from me except I drink it, Thy will be 
done !" Although I am thus left sad and soli- 
tary, my rejoicing is that I have a family in 
Heaven, and I daily feel that if am permitted 
to join them there, with the innumerable as- 
sembly of redeemed spirits, I must be faith- 
fully obedient to Him whose wisdom is un- 
searchable. When He makes requisitions of 
duty, I find, by my own experience, that finite 
man is prone to call them in question. 

After the death of my son * the concern to 
visit Friends in various places came again 
weightily upon me, and with it the query 
arose, Of what avail are all these labors ? 
" Who hath believed our report, and to whom 
hath the arm of the Lord been revealed " 
through me? As an instrument I am poor and 
frail, and the least of all the flock of the com- 
panions of Christ. These reasonings, being of 
the creature, were all silenced before the Maj- 
esty on High, when He caused His glory, in 

* There having been no provision for her in her father's 
will, by the death of this son the property reverted to her. 

Rachael Hicks. 67 

part, to pass before me, and the still small 
voice to say, " ' What doest thou here ?' Who 
art thou, that thou shouldst sit in judgment 
against Omnipotence? Thou art the work- 
manship of His hands; it is His right to rule 
and direct." Then all within me bowed rev- 
erently, saying, " Thy will be done." 

In the summers of 1855 and 1856 I visited, 
with the approbation of our Monthly Meeting, 
as expressed in a minute granted by it, all the 
meetings belonging to our Yearly Meeting. In 
many places they were very small, and in some 
laid down, and the meeting-houses shut up ; 
which sorrowful circumstance led to a train of 
reflection and the inquiry, "Why is it so?" 
The answer is short and easily seen : disobedi- 
ence to known duty, the daily cross, stands in 
the way of that full dedication of all we possess 
to Him who gave us all, and to whom wor- 
ship and obedience are ever due. It is to be 
feared that in this day of outward ease and 
prosperity, the things of this present world are 
more loved and sought after than the wise and 
bountiful Giver. Unless there is a willingness 
to return to our first principles, to love God 

68 Memoir of 

above all, and to do our first works of obedi- 
ence to Him in all things, the Society of 
Friends will continue to decline, and, ere long, 
be lost in the spirit of this world, and all our 
meeting-houses will be closed or used for other 
purposes than spiritual worship. But we hope 
better things. There are in most meetings liv- 
ingly concerned members who do worship our 
Heavenly Father in spirit and in truth ; and 
the prayer of my spirit often is that the Great 
Husbandman will raise up, and qualify, and 
send forth faithful laborers into His vineyard, 
who, by daily example and precept, shall bear 
witness to the sufficiency of the Divine Spirit 
in the soul to preserve from all sin and error if 
attended to and obeyed. 

In the fall of 1855, believing my Heavenly 
Father required it of me, I asked for and ob- 
tained certificates of our Monthly and Quar- 
terly Meetings to attend the Yearly Meeting 
of Baltimore, and to visit the meetings consti- 
tuting it. My kind friends Amos and Caroline 
Willets being willing to accompany me, we 
attended the Yearly Meeting, and commenced 
visiting the other meetings, when I met with a 

Rachael Hicks. 69 

close trial in an accident which befell my dear 
companion and faithful armor-bearer, Caroline 
Willets. Intending to attend Centre Quar- 
terly Meeting, held at West Branch in nth 
month, and being at a Friend's house near that 
place, my dear friend Caroline fell down a stair- 
way, and sprained her ankle ; making it neces- 
sary for her and her husband to return home. 
This brought me under a deep exercise of 
mind, and thinking I could not go on without 
them, I made up my mind also to return home. 
Before the Quarterly Meeting ended, I grew 
uneasy with this conclusion, and my faith in, 
and allegiance to, my Divine Master were 
closely tried. After painful conflict with the 
weakness and reasonings of the creature, I was 
made willing to resign myself to His care, who 
is an ever-present helper in the needful time. 
A Friend offering to go with me to Monallen, 
where Warrington Quarterly Meeting was soon 
to be held, although one hundred miles dis- 
tant, I felt most easy to go there, believing 
that I should find company there for the re- 
mainder of the journey, or a part of it. Most 
of the way being on the direct route by which 

70 Memoir of 

my homeward-bound friends had to travel, we 
set out together, arriving at Harrisburgh about 
one o'clock at night. Here we parted, and 
whilst my new and kind caretaker was assist- 
ing dear Caroline in the change of cars, I stood 
alone in the street, feeling that I was indeed a 
stranger in a city of strangers, in the gloom 
and solitariness of the midnight hour. But 
for the sensible presence of Him who never 
forsakes His dependent children my fortitude 
would have failed and discouragement and de- 
spair overwhelmed me. Praised forever be His 
name, He arose and said, " Peace, be still," 
and my soul rested in a calm trust and confi- 
dence through that trying season. We passed 
the remainder of the night at a hotel. I slept 
but little, although I retired to my room un- 
der a full sense of the superintending care of 
Him who had power to stop the mouths of 
lions, that they could not hurt a Daniel ; 
feeling that He had power also to frustrate the 
machinations of the wicked, if any were there, 
who having seen me, a defenseless woman, 
alone with my baggage might have looked 
upon it with a covetous eye. 

Rachael Hicks. 71 

The next morning, soon after taking our seats 
in the stage, two intoxicated men entered, 
whose conversation was profane and disgust- 
ing. Here was another kind of trial which 
was patiently to be borne. I pitied these 
poor slaves to their human propensities, having 
yielded to the love of strong drink until they 
had no power to resist the desire for taking 
that which they knew would, for a time at 
least, deprive them of the exercise of reason, 
and sink them below the brute creation. I re- 
flected, and saw how insufficient are all the 
efforts of man, in his own wisdom and strength, 
to put a stop to this crying evil. The Temper- 
ance societies with all their works although I 
trust in the sincerity of heart of the leaders of 
many of these their eloquence, their lectures, 
and their pledges had failed. I saw that noth- 
ing short of repentance, and prayer to God, 
who alone can give strength to take up the 
daily cross, will ever in reality do away with 
this degrading sin. 

About the middle of the day we reached a 
Friend's house, where we were kindly enter- 
tained, and where we rested, and the next 

72 Memoir of 

morning went to Monallen to attend the Quar- 
terly Meeting. I rejoiced to be again among 
Friends; for, notwithstanding the great depart- 
ure of many amongst us from the Spirit of 
Truth, we are not a forsaken people. There is 
still a remnant left whose chiefest joy is to do 
the will of our Father who is in Heaven. For 
the reward of these, and the tenderly visited 
minds in our midst His life-giving presence is 
vouchsafed, crowning our solemn assemblies, 
encouraging us to hold on our Heavenward 
journey, and not to forsake the assembling of 
ourselves together, to worship Him in simplic- 
ity and sincerity of soul, without desiring the 
aid of human ministration. 

Here I found that my kind friend Ann Shep- 
herd an elder was willing to leave her hus- 
band and comfortable home, from a sense of 
religious duty, and go with me, visiting the 
meetings as far as Baltimore, where she left 
me, and Lydia Jeffries, an elder " worthy of 
double honor," and a mother in Israel, accom- 
panied me in the attendance of the remainder 
of the meetings in that Yearly Meeting. At 
their conclusion my kind friend Amos Willets 

Rachael Hicks. 73 

met me, to accompany me home, where I 
arrived early in 1st month, 1856, just one hour 
before the commencement of a snow-storm so 
severe that the next day I could not get to 
our own meeting, although not half a mile 
distant. My heart overflowed with love and 
reverent thankfulness to my Divine Caretaker 
and Protector for this favor, and over and 
above all in that He had enabled me to per- 
form the work He sent me to do, so as to 
feel sweet peace of mind in the retrospect ; 
and also that He had opened the minds of 
Friends to receive and help on her way one 
of the least and most unworthy of all the 
laborers in His vineyard. A prayer oft arises 
in my heart to Him who alone is able, that 
he will abundantly reward the helpers and 
companions of the poor ministers. These 
are sent to and fro in the earth, to preach 
the glad tidings of the everlasting gospel to 
the poor in spirit ; and if faithful, to offer to 
the people that which is given them, and thus 
stand acquitted in the Divine sight ; and 
through unmerited mercy to save their own 
souls, whether the people will hear or forbear. 

74 Memoir of 

In the course of this journey I had afresh to 
mourn over the deplorable system of human 
slavery that exists in our land, not only on ac- 
count of the injustice and cruelty exercised 
toward the African race, but also for its de- 
moralizing influence on the white people who 
claim them as their property. 

The query arises, Have we any reason to 
hope that a day of retribution will not come, 
not only to the slaveholder, but also to those 
who sustain the system by using and traffick- 
ing in the articles produced by the labor of 
slaves? In the wise economy and operation of 
the laws established by our beneficent Creator, 
the actions of men according to the motives, 
whether they be good or bad produce their 
legitimate results. Good actions performed in 
love and obedience to Him who made us are 
always rewarded with peace of mind here, and 
a well-grounded hope of eternal happiness in 
the world to come. On the other hand, reject- 
ing the Divine government and acting in our 
own will, brings disquietude and condemnation 
of soul, in which there is no real enjoyment 
here nor hope of bliss hereafter. 

Rachael Hicks. 75 

Man is not learning wisdom from this suffer- 
ing, so as to repent and turn unto God for 
help and instruction; but, continuing in sin, 
the propensities of his human nature grow 
strong, and, having undue ascendency, pride 
and ambition, avarice and anger, hatred and 
animosity, prompt him to words and actions 
which tend to irritate others who are in a sim- 
ilar state; hence contention and strife, injus- 
tice and cruelty, wars and fightings ensue. 
Hence the groan of agony from the wounded 
and dying on the field of battle, the wailing of 
the widow and the fatherless, the moans of 
the bereaved mother and surviving relatives. 

Children trained in these habits, imbibing the 
same spirit from the example and teaching of 
those around them, seem not to know that the 
" still small voice " in them which reproves for 
evil is the voice of the Son of God, who would 
be to them the Saviour from all sin, and con- 
sequently from these sore afflictions which, be- 
ing the natural result of disobedience to God, 
are truly called His just judgments, as He ren- 
ders to every one according to his deeds and 
the motives of the heart. And as the in- 

76 Memoir of 

spired prophet said, in addressing Israel, 
" Thine own wickedness shall correct thee, and 
thy backslidings shall reprove thee ; know 
therefore and see that it is an evil thing and 
bitter that thou hast forsaken the Lord thy 
God, and that my fear is not in thee, saith the 
Lord God of Hosts." 

In view of the power and majesty of Deity 
my soul bows reverently before Him. He will 
work, and none can hinder; therefore I fear 
that, ere long, the soil that has received the 
tears and sweat of the oppressed in our land 
will be moistened by the blood of the white 
man the inevitable consequence and just re- 
tribution for his unrighteous doings. Oh, saith 
my spirit, that all may return unto God in 
repentance, humility, and prayer, for He is in- 
finite in love and mercy, and hears and delivers 
those who rely upon Him, and comforts them, 
saying, " Peace, be still." 

Rachael Hicks. 77 


1857 TO i860. 

Obtains a Minute to visit the Families of Westbury Quarterly 
Meeting Minute to visit the Families of the three Monthly 
Meetings of Philadelphia Illness and Death of her Com- 
panion, Caroline Willets Minute to visit the Families of 
the Monthly Meeting of Baltimore Minutes to attend the 
Yearly Meetings of Philadelphia, Ohio, Indiana, and re- 
mote Settlements in the West. 

IN the winter of 1857, from a sense of re- 
ligious duty, I visited the families of Friends 
and Friendly people in the Monthly Meeting 
of New York. 

2d mo. 7th, 1858. This evening finished the 
family visits to Friends and Friendly people 
within the compass of the three Monthly Meet- 
ings on Long Island. Thus the families of 
Westbury Quarterly Meeting, except that of 
Cornwall, have all been visited. Whether any 
good fruits to others will ever result from 
these arduous labors appears to me very 
doubtful. The minds of many are so ab- 

78 Memoir of 

sorbed in the treasures and pleasures of this 
world that the life and power of religion seem 
to be of minor importance. I entered upon 
this service in great weakness, and went from 
house to house an empty vessel, save a heavy 
weight of concern and an humbling sense of 
my own insufficiency for so great a work. But 
in sitting down with the little gathered circle, 
the inexhaustible fountain was again and again 
opened, and the word of exhortation flowed 
freely in most families, especially in some not 
in membership with us, but who were hungry 
for the bread of life, and who rejoiced in the 
crumbs that are overlooked by the rich and 

The work is finished, and the end is peace- 
ful to my own mind, arid in humble gratitude 
I can say, " Return unto thy rest, oh my soul, 
for the Lord hath dealt bountifully with thee." 
He has been thy strength in weakness, riches 
in poverty, and a present helper in the need- 
ful time. Blessed, forever blessed, be His 

In 1858, in prospect of religious duty to visit 
the families of Friends composing the three 

Rachael Hicks. 79 

Monthly Meetings in the city of Philadelphia, 
I was brought under a weight of exercise that 
seemed heavier than I could bear. When look- 
ing at the state of our society, I felt a spirit 
exalted in its own imagination, seeking pro- 
motion and predominance, and at times lay- 
ing waste the testimonies of those who, for 
conscience sake, could not follow them and 
give them flattery and applause. This makes 
heavy exercise for those who are seeking only 
their own souls' peace by simple obedience to 
the revealed will of their Creator. In my own 
experience I oft feel " woe is unto me " if I 
testify not of the all-sufficiency of the Holy 
Spirit to lead and guide into all Truth, call- 
ing the people away from a dependence on 
self-wisdom and their own strength, to this 
eternal principle, which breathes " Glory to 
God in the highest, and on earth peace, good- 
will toward men." 

Although I felt there were rightly exercised 
minds and devoted servants of the Lord in 
that city, who could sympathize with my ex- 
ercise, as true burden-bearers, yet a sense of 
my own great weakness and inability to per- 

8o Memoir of 

form so arduous a service caused me to say in 
spirit, How shall I stand before the great and 
mighty who seemed like Goliaths in my view? 
Many exercises and reasonings of the creature 
arose in my mind, and I was tossed for a sea- 
son as a vessel on the tempestuous ocean. But 
forever blessed be the name of my Lord and 
Master, in all these seasons He came and said, 
" Peace, be still," "Fear thou not, for I am 
with thee ; be not dismayed, for I am thy 
God ; I will strengthen thee ; yea, I will help 
thee ; yea, I will uphold thee with the right 
hand of my righteousness." 

These gracious promises I knew He would 
fulfill if I kept humbly bowed before Him, and 
faithful to His commands. Having tasted the 
bitter fruits of disobedience, I was willing to 
endure hardness and suffering, so that I might 
lay down my head in peace at last. Therefore 
my soul and all within me bowed in humble 
reverence before Him, and I said in my heart, 
" If this cup may not pass from me except I 
drink it, Thy will, oh ! Father, be done." 
Although this full surrender of my own will 
in laying the concern before our Monthly 

Rachael Hicks. 81 

Meeting for its judgment in the nth month, 
and receiving its certificate and unity (save in 
one instance) lightened the burden in some 
measure, yet I felt a weight of exercise that no 
one can understand but those who have passed 
through the baptisms of preparation for such 
a service, known only by Him who sees the in- 
most recesses of the soul. I felt as if I were 
going to Calvary, to lay down the life of my 
creaturely will, if not the life of the body also ; 
not having an idea of the afflictions that await- 
ed me. 

On opening the subject to my kind friends 
Amos and Caroline Willets, who had been my 
faithful armor-bearers in many religious visits 
heretofore, they entered into feelings of near 
sympathy with me, especially dear Caroline. 
Her health being feeble, I felt that she was not 
able to do more than attend the Monthly 
Meetings, where it was right and necessary for 
me to lay my concern before the members, for 
them to decide whether they would receive or 
reject the visit. Therefore on the 226. of I2th 
month, 1858, the above-named Friends accom- 
panied me in attending Race Street Monthly 

82 Memoir of 

Meeting (Philadelphia), where Friends gave 
me a cordial reception. The next day at Green 
Street Monthly Meeting, a number of men 
Friends objected, on account of my compan- 
ions, who, as elders, had borne their testimony 
against doctrines not acknowledged by our So- 
ciety, but held by a member of that meeting, 
who traveled as a minister. Many of their 
members were deeply tried ; but through all, 
our minds were calm and peaceful ; dear Car- 
oline saying that what she had done was from 
a sense of religious duty. As I went there in 
resignation to my Heavenly Father, and made 
the offer to Friends, I felt acquitted in His 
sight, and a renewed evidence was furnished 
me that this order of our Society relative to 
Friends traveling as ministers originated in the 
wisdom of Truth, and is consistent with that 
brotherhood alluded to by the Head of the 
Church when He said, " One is your Master, 
even Christ, and all ye are brethren." Minis- 
ters have no right to go forth in the name of 
the Society, or of the meetings to which they 
belong, without their consent or approval, nor 
to impose themselves or their ministry on 

Rachael Hicks. 83 

Friends or others without their approbation. 
Hearers have rights as well as speakers. Un- 
der this view, I bade the Monthly Meeting a 
farewell, feeling a release from the burden of 
exercise at the time. 

The next day at Spruce Street Monthly 
Meeting, Friends kindly opened the way for 
me to proceed. Accordingly we visited about 
twenty families, when my dear companion 
Caroline Willets became so ill that she re- 
turned to our lodgings at the house of our 
kind friends Samuel and Mary Caley, where 
she lingered on a bed of sickness in a sweet 
and peaceful frame of mind, until the 5th 
of 1st month, when her immortal spirit passed 
away ; we humbly trust, to the haven of eternal 
rest, joy and peace, her last audible words 
being, " I see a mansion prepared for me." 
She had dearly loved her friends, and she 
died in their midst. A large number gath- 
ered round her dying bed, in solemn si- 
lence ; waited for, and saw the closing scene. 
When she had ceased to breathe, prayer and 
supplication were put up for resignation to 
Him who had given, and taken away, a friend 

84 Memoir of 

beloved, in the midst of her great usefulness. 
But we feel that our great loss is her great 

I felt closely tried by this experience, but 
could not see, nor feel that I merited censure as 
being the cause of taking her from her home, 
as she too entered upon the visit from a sense 
of religious duty, several times cheerfully say- 
ing, " I will stay with thee two weeks, and 
then I think I shall feel released," which 
proved to be true, for on the 6th of 1st month, 
1859, her remains were taken to her late home 
in New York. (See a further account of her in 
the Memorial of New York Monthly Meeting.) 

Being unwell myself, I remained several 
weeks with the bereaved family, when I re- 
turned, and resumed my arduous labor. Hav- 
ing been officially informed that at a subse- 
quent Monthly Meeting of Green Street it had 
concluded to receive family visits, when I was 
nearly through the other meetings, the burden 
of exercise unexpectedly returned so weightily 
upon me, that I dared not do otherwise than 
enter upon it ; and although deeply humiliating 
to the flesh, the spirit rejoiced when it was ac- 

Rachael Hicks. 85 

complished. I was humbled under a sense of 
my own unworthiness to receive so much kind 
attention from Friends in all the Monthly 
Meetings, who were engaged in the arduous 
labor of making arrangements for me to visit 
such a large a number of families in and about 
the city of Philadelphia. Desiring that these 
might have an abundant reward, I returned 
home with that sweet peace of mind, which 
the world can neither give nor take away. My 
Heavenly Father had fulfilled all His promise 
to be my shield and my strength. Blessed, 
forever blessed, be His name ! 

Early in the winter of 1859, a similar visit 
was paid to the families of Baltimore Monthly 
Meeting. Although resignation to this was 
more easily attained, than to the one above al- 
luded to, I found now, as on all other occasions, 
that it is not a light matter to engage in any 
religious services, without a deep indwelling of 
spirit with Him who alone can qualify for any 
service in the Church Militant. 

In the spring of 1860, I attended the Yearly 
Meeting of Philadelphia, which was large ; and 
although much of the reasoning creaturely wis- 

86 Memoir of 

dom that exalteth itself was seen and felt, yet 
many minds were bowed before Him who 
dwells with the contrited spirit, and His sol- 
emnizing presence was spread as a canopy over 
the assembly. 

Before entering upon the last two visits, I 
obtained minutes of unity from our Monthly 
Meeting, and in due time returned them with 
the information that the service had been per- 
formed to the peace of my mind. 

Having for some time felt my mind drawn in 
gospel love to attend the Yearly Meetings of 
Ohio and Indiana, to visit the families of White- 
water Monthly Meeting, and also, a few remote 
settlements in the States of Illinois and Iowa, 
and believing it to be a requisition of my Heav- 
enly Father, I opened the concern to our 
Monthly and Quarterly Meetings in 7th mo., 
1860, and obtained their certificates of concur- 

In 8th month my kind friends William T. 
Cock and Elizabeth, his wife, and Samuel J. 
Underhill and his wife, accompanied me to 
Ohio Yearly Meeting. The former two then 
returned home, and the latter two went with 

Rachael Hicks. 87 

me to Richmond, Indiana, where they left me 
under the care of Friends there ; first attending 
the Quarterly Meeting of Whitewater, held at 

In the fellowship I felt with the livingly 
exercised Friends here, I was renewedly made 
sensible that those who are led by the Spirit 
of God are His children ; being born of His 
Spirit, they are brethren in the Truth. His 
love cementing them together in an indissolu- 
ble bond of unity of spirit, they are " one anoth- 
er's helpers in the Lord." Thus my kind 
friends, John T. Plummer and Alice Menden- 
hall, were made willing to go with me to the 
remote meetings before alluded to, and for 
which way did not open in 1852. It was a long 
journey one thousand miles from my home 
but, as we traveled mostly by railroad, it was 
accomplished in about ten days. 

We attended the Monthly Meeting of Clear 
Creek, in Illinois, and two meetings for worship 
in Iowa they being forty miles apart. Our 
kind friend, Joseph Wood, took us in his car- 
riage from West Liberty to Prairie Grove. 
While there I felt, and still do feel, a deep con- 

88 Memoir of 

cern for these dear Friends, who in their 
isolated situation, appeared honestly concerned 
to keep up their meetings in the order of our 
So ciety. I believe, as they are careful to wait 
on the Lord, and do His will revealed in their 
souls, they will, by their consistent conduct and 
conversation, be a blessing to those amongst 
whom they dwell. At these two places, not 
long after our visit, preparative meetings were 
set up, and a Monthly Meeting was held alter- 
nately in each place an evidence of the in- 
fluence of example and of a living concern. 
Hearing of a number of Friends' families scat- 
tered overthese new Western States, so remote 
from each other as not to be able to attend 
meetings, I feared that Friends seeking a settle- 
ment in the world for themselves and their 
children, do not take into consideration, or 
appreciate, the advantages of religious associ- 
ation, and the establishment of public meetings 
for the worship of God in spirit, who requires 
this solemn duty of His accountable creature 
man. He alone can qualify those He calls to 
the work of the ministry, to minister to the 
people the encouragement and edification 

Rachael Hicks. 89 

which He designs for them through instru- 
mental means. To Him belongs all the praise. 

After this far Western visit was accomplished, 
my kind friends Cornelius Ratcliff and wife ac- 
companied me in a visit to the families of 
Friends in and about Richmond. This service 
was finished before the opening of Indiana Year- 
ly Meeting, held at Waynesville ; where my 
former companions, William T. Cock and wife, 
met me to accompany me home, which we reach- 
ed the pth of loth mo., 1860, humbly thankful 
for the many favors received. 

The query often arises, " What shall I render 
unto Thee, O Lord, for Thy many benefits? " 
The response is, " The whole heart, yea, body, 
soul and spirit, and all thou callest thine : for 
the Lord thy God is thy helper. To Him, 
therefore, dedicate the remainder of thy days, 
the little remnant of thy natural life, lest after 
all thy toil, thy labor, and thy sacrifices, thou 
lose the crown of eternal rest, laid up for thee 
at the end of thy race if thou continue faithfully 
dedicated to His work and service. Bow, rev- 
erently bow, before Him, and if any future re- 
quisition be made of thee, hard as it may be to 

90 Memoir of 

thy natural will, ask of Him for strength to 
say, ' Thy will be done,' for He has not only been 
with thee in spirit, giving thee strength to stand 
before many gathered assemblies, and declare 
His doctrines, and counsels, and opened the 
minds of many to receive thy testimony, but 
He has also raised up for thy help armor-bear- 
ers from amongst the heads of the tribes of our 
Israel." Little and unworthy as I feel myself 
to be, a succession of livingly concerned ser- 
vants of the Lord have been drawn by Him, 
in sympathy and unity of spirit, to go to and 
fro in the earth with me, helping to bear up 
my hands as Aarons and Hurs. That they 
may have their full reward, is the prayer of my 

Before leaving this brief account of what 
seems most likely to be my last visit to Indiana 
Yearly Meeting, I feel bound to say of it, that it 
is my conviction, there is preserved there a pre- 
cious remnant ; and more of ancient simplicity 
of concern, and deep indwelling of spirit, for 
the maintenance of all the testimonies borne 
by our Society from the beginning, than in 
most other parts of the heritage. And I had in 

Rachael Hicks. 91 

thankfulness to observe that in this as well as 
in other Yearly Meetings, the disturbing ele- 
ment of those who, in times past, thought it 
not necessary to wait for Divine command and 
ability to labor for reformation in the world, 
but took their reasoning powers for their guide, 
has mostly passed away from the meeting of 
Friends. But they who have honestly en- 
deavored to stand on the foundation upon 
which Christ said His Church was built 
are still alive in the Truth, and by exam- 
ple and precept, are laboring in the ability 
which God gives, for the promotion of His 
peaceable kingdom amongst men. 

My desires are strong, that there may be in 
all generations yet to come, a succession of 
standard-bearers inciting the people to the 
Divine Light within ; which, if attended to, 
will enlighten the understanding of every one 
to see that there is no safety in any other 
state than in watchfulness, prayer and obedi- 
ence to the will of God. We are, and ever will 
be, a tried people ; not only by temptations in 
our own minds, but by the insinuations of 
those who, having departed from the Truth, 

92 Memoir of 

and being given over to strange delusions and 
cunningly devised fables, labor to draw others 
into their own ways and opinions. 

May all be preserved from a confederacy with 
them, " to whom this people shall say, 'A con- 
federacy : ' neither fear ye their fear nor be 
afraid; sanctify the Lord of Hosts Himself; 
and let Him be your fear, and let Him be your 
dread " (that is, fear to offend Him), and." He 
shall be for a sanctuary, a refuge and a strong 
tower, unto which the righteous flee and are 
safe." These, being taught of God, are sons of 
God and brethren in this Heavenly relation- 
ship, seeking the welfare of one another in the 
unity of the Spirit, and the bond of peace, and 
watching over one another for good. 

Thus was our Society formed in the beginning ; 
love of the brethren was and is the offspring of 
love to God, which inclined them to meet to- 
gether to worship Him in spirit. And, as occa- 
sion required, our Discipline was formed, con- 
taining rules and regulations for our outward 
conduct, originating in the perfect wisdom of 
Him who is a God of order. Friends, in the 
meekness of their spirits, for the good of all were 

Rachael Hicks. 93 

willing to submit to one another, so that love 
and harmony might be maintained ; seeing 
that without this outward bond Societies or 
associations could not profitably exist. "Thou 
shalt be the head ; thou shalt lend to many 
nations, but shalt not borrow," was the command 
to this people as well as to Israel of old. But in 
this day of outward ease and prosperity a spi- 
rit of independence has risen up ; which, if not 
checked, will undermine the foundation not 
only of our religious Society, but also the Civil 
Government under which we live, and have en- 
joyed all the privileges Christians can desire. 
When individuals shall persist in doing that 
which seems right in their own eyes, without 
regard to the judgment of others, or respect to 
the laws and regulations made for the good of 
all, it will be an evidence that they are not sub- 
ject to the discipline of the " Cross of Christ " 
in themselves ; and contentions, divisions and 
calamities heavy to be borne will necessarily 

94 Memoir of 

1 86 1 TO 1864. 

Exercises of her mind induced by the Condition of our Coun- 
try Attends Baltimore Yearly Meeting and some of the 
Meetings within its Limits. 

4TH mo., 1861. Wars and rumors of wars 
are heard in our land ! The nation seems to 
stand upon an awful precipice, ready to be 
plunged into the pit of deadly strife of brother 
against brother, in which, it is to be feared, 
rivers of human blood will flow. The groans of 
the dying on the field of battle, and the moans 
of the bereaved will ascend to Him who is just 
and holy, who has made man a free agent, and 
invites all to do His will and receive the re- 
ward of peace with Him, and of harmony with 
their fellow men ; but leaves them at liberty, 
if they choose, to follow their own ways, and 
reap the sad consequences. In departing from 
the law of the Lord written in the heart, the 
seeds of calamity are sown in the pride, ambi- 

Rachael Hicks. 95 

tion, love of power and dominion, covetous- 
ness, oppression, frauds, and injustice, that 
spring up, until the cup of iniquity seems filled 
to the brim ; and war, with all its horrors the 
legitimate offspring of these evils seems al- 
ready begun. 

In view of all this, I have been led in spirit 
to make a close investigation of myself and 
of my past life, desiring to see if I have con- 
tributed to the filling up of the full measure 
of iniquity that is now clothing the nation in 
mourning and woe. Although feeling myself 
the least of the flock of the companions of 
Christ, I have great consolation in the retro- 
spect that I have ever endeavored to live in 
love to my God and love to my fellow man. 
For the last thirty years, by word and doctrine, 
as well as by example, I have labored to pro- 
mulgate the peaceable principles of the King- 
dom of Christ amongst men, according to the 
ability given of Him, who often makes use of 
weak instruments, who realize that without 
Him they can do no good thing. Knowing my- 
self to be one of these, in humble gratitude, I ac- 
knowledge His goodness in giving me to stand 

96 Memoir of 

acquitted in His holy sight, and that His power 
has enabled me to wash my hands in innocency 
from the blood of all men. 

My soul is bowed in view of His majesty, His 
almightiness and justice, as well as His love and 
mercy. Blessed be His name ! He sets bounds 
to the waves of the sea, He sets bounds to the 
raging of fallen man ; and when by chastise- 
ments the people are humbled, and cry unto 
Him for help, He will say, " Peace, be still," 
and there will be a calm. I feel that a great 
weight of responsibility rests on the Society of 
Friends, a people called to stand before the 
world, 'as a city set on an hill, that cannot be 
hid;' because, walking in the light of the Lord, 
-they would have been instruments in His power 
and wisdom, in enlightening the minds of be- 
holders, so that ere this they would have seen 
war to be inconsistent with the Christian re- 
ligion. They would have seen that love to God, 
and love and forbearance toward man were the 
only sure basis of prosperity and happiness. 

Had Friends all lived in the life and power 
of vital religion, we would have remained a 
united people, wise in the wisdom which 

Rachael Hicks. 97 

God gives, standing aloof from all parties, 
and party feelings, giving evidence that we 
love all men of every nation, without distinc- 
tion. These holy men and women, fearing 
God, and doing His will, mingling with the 
people in every part of the land, would have 
been as saviors on the mountain of the Lord, 
where nothing can " hurt or destroy." Our 
country would not then have sunk into its 
present sad condition ; its people divided, and 
in many cases hating each other. 

6th mo., 1 86 1. The Spirit of the Lord is 
upon me, and it said unto me, " Write ; " and I 
said, " What shall I write? " and it said, "The 
day of the Lord is near that shall ' burn as an 
oven,' and the ' wicked ' they that fear Me not, 
shall be as ' stubble,' and no man can prevent 
the bringing about the just and legitimate 
fruits of their backslidings, for they are many. 
The sins of the people have multiplied, their 
proud hearts are lifted up, they love this 
present world more than they love Me who 
gave it. In their love of money and power 
they oppress the weaker, and in every way 
which the wisdom of man can devise, they 

98 Memoir of 

have defrauded their fellow creatures, com- 
mitting the sins found in Sodom and Egypt. 
As I chastised them, so will I chastise those 
of this nation, which say, ' I will rule, I will 
not submit.' Hence brother is arrayed against 
brother, bathing the sword in each other's 
blood, in the pride and haughtiness of spirit, 
which have grown strong in them, because of the 
willful departure from My spirit in their souls. 
The crying, the sighing and the prayers of the 
oppressed and defrauded have come up before 
Me, and I have risen in My majesty to deliver 
them, and to chastise those who will not bow 
before Me in mercy, and who in the end 
will dare say ' What doest thou ? ' 

" The South shall chastise the North for a sea- 
son, for her participation in the oppression and 
injustice to the red man of the forest, and the 
black man of Africa ; rivers of blood will ere long 
flow, and calamities sore and heavy will be ex- 
perienced, until the people shall be humbled, 
and call on Me for help, acknowledging that 
these are My just judgments for sin and iniquity. 
Then will some of them learn righteousness." 

1st mo., 1862. This has been a day of re- 

Rachael Hicks. 99 

joicing and giving thanks on the "banks of de- 
liverance ! " My soul has, for a long season, 
been plunged into deep exercise comparable to 
the bottom of the sea. The watery unstable 
elements of human nature have been permitted 
to buffet and beat against me, as if to try my 
hold on Heaven, and my faith in Him who 
alone can save. And now I can in humble 
reverence say, with the great apostle, through 
all " I have kept the faith, and maintained the 
warfare," oft saying in my heart, 'if I die I will 
die a suppliant at Thy feet, oh ! God, for to 
whom shall I go if I forsake Thee, and Thy 
Son, Thy power and wisdom in my soul that 
speak the words of eternal life ? ' 

The necessary cares of the world are at. times 
a burden, and I have longed for a release, fearing 
if all were not consistently managed I might 
bring dishonor on the cause of Truth, which, 
through the constraining power of Omnipo- 
tence, and in an humbling sense of my own 
weakness, I have feebly espoused, feeling that 
the cause of Truth and righteousness in the 
earth is of the greatest importance to the well- 
being of mankind both here and hereafter. 

ioo Memoir of 

When doubts and fears have prevailed, and 
tossed my poor mind, as from billow to billow, 
He has arisen and said, " Fear not, for I am thy 
God. When thou passest through the waters I 
will be with thee ; and through the rivers, they 
shall not overflow thee." Especially at the pres- 
ent season, when the weight of exercise from va- 
rious causes seemed heavier than I could bear, 
and I thought my physical or mental faculties 
would fail, He condescended in unbounded 
mercy to arise and say to the tumultuous 
waves, " Be still," and there was a solemn 
calm, in which the language was heard, " I have 
made a hedge about thee, I will keep thee in 
the hour of trial, if thou wilt trust in Me." 
Feeling that the word of a king is inviolate, 
my soul and all within me bowed in humble 
reverence before Him in thankfulness for the 
unmerited favor, and for the bitter cup that 
had prepared my soul for the enjoyment of the 
rich dainties given me to partake of. Blessed, 
forever blessed be His great and adorable name ! 
saith my spirit. 

6th mo. loth, 1862. My spirit is covered with 
an awful solemnity in most of my waking hours. 

Rachael Hicks. 101 

When I rouse from sleep in the morning this 
weight comes pressing upon me, and I query 
Why is it so ? Then the battle field is spread 
out before my mental vision, and I see brother 
arrayed against brother in mortal combat, and 
all for the sins of the nation, for they are very 
great. O South ! thy sin against thy brother 
of the African race is greater than Egypt's 
against Israel of old ; thy darkness is felt, thy 
day of retribution is begun ; when, and how it 
will end is known only to Him who sees in 
secret and whose "justice will not sleep for- 

And the North has not escaped, and will not 
altogether escape ; for in measure we are verily 
guilty concerning our brother. We have par- 
taken of the spoils of his labor ; his tears, his 
sweat, and his blood have cried against both 
the South and the North, and entered the ears 
of Him who permits rebellious man to go on 
until his own doings bring correction and deep 
suffering. O South ! thou hast dug a pit for 
thyself, a pit of mire and thick clay, from which 
thou canst not be raised and cleansed until 
thou humblest thyself before the mighty God 

IO2 Memoir of 

in repentance, seeking forgiveness, and forsak- 
ing thy sins. And O North ! thou hast grown 
rich and powerful, and thy heart is lifted up. 
Oh ! humble thyself, and come down into the 
low valley of humiliation, where the dew of 
Heaven lies long, and the pastures of Divine 
life are green. In reverence and thankfulness 
to God feed thereon, and thy light will shine 
before the world, and the nations of the earth 
will love and respect thee, and none of them 
shall be able to overthrow, or overpower thee. 
But if thou continue in pride, and in glorying in 
thy strength and thy skill, and shalt say, " By 
the might of my power" have I established 
this great nation, thy days ere long shall be 
numbered, and as Babylon, so shalt thou fall. 

1st mo. 3d, 1863. Another annual period 
has passed, and while many are rejoicing at the 
coming in of a new year, my spirit is bowed in 
seriousness. In reflecting on the rapid flight of 
time, bringing us nearer the end of all things 
here, the solemn language was heard in my 
mental ear, " Set thine house in order, for thou 
shalt die and not live." A retrospect of my 
past life followed ; and although for a long sea- 

Rachael Hicks. 103 

son I was among the chief of sinners, in omis- 
sion of a well-known duty to my God, and 
many weaknesses and shortcomings were sen- 
sibly felt as a consequence, as I repented and 
sought forgiveness for these, my gracious Crea- 
tor washed them away in the " blood of the 
Lamb," which is His own Divine Spirit brought 
forth in the immortal soul. 

In great loving-kindness and mercy He gave 
me to see, and to feel, that as I gave up to speak 
in His name to the assemblies of the people, 
I had dedicated my all to His work and service ; 
and that there was nothing in my way to a 
mansion of rest, joy, and peace in Heaven. In 
this state my immortal spirit would join not only 
those whom I had known and loved on earth, 
but also the innumerable host which John saw 
who had come out of great tribulation, and to 
whom it is promised, " He that sitteth on the 
throne shall dwell among them, they shall hun- 
ger no more, neither thirst any more," but shall 
be led, " unto living fountains of water, and 
God will wipe away all tears from their eyes." 
In this view there was no terror or fear of 
death, and I felt that I might still pursue my 

IO4 Memoir of 

usual course of life in the things of this world, 
with the mind watching unto prayer ; and if 
my Father in Heaven sends the pale messenger 
with the language, " Steward, give an account 
of thy stewardship," I shall be enabled to say, 
"Thy will, O God! be done," if I hold out to 
the end in obedience to Him. 

Of latter times when my mind was under 
trial and exercises, heavy as I could bear, from 
a variety of causes no doubt permitted for 
my further refinement and weaning from the 
world a desire arose that He who gave me 
life and being would take me to Himself. 
Blessed be His great and adorable name, He 
has made me willing to live and endure further 
conflicts, as well as willing to die and be at 
rest. And now I am patiently waiting. It is 
an unspeakable favor that I enjoy in my lonely 
hours, as well as when in company with my 
friends, a consciousness that whatever my fel- 
low creatures may judge or think of me, my 
soul is at peace with my God ; a sweet peace 
that the world can neither give nor take away. 
Praises and alleluias be ever ascribed unto 
Him, who alone can give it ! saith my spirit. 

Rachael Hicks. 105 

5th mo. 7th, 1864. War still rages in 
our land. From its very commencement, al- 
though feeling its awfulness, and deep sympa- 
thy with its many sufferers, the command of 
my Divine Master has been, " Be still, and al- 
low no anxious thoughts about the results," 
thus leaving all to Him who has power to say 
to haughty man, "Hitherto shalt thou come, and 
no further; and here shall thy proud waves be 
stayed." In humble submission my soul has 
rested, not daring to put up a petition for one 
party or the other, any further than that the 
eyes of all may be opened to see the glory and 
excellency of the religion which He came to 
promulgate, whose birth was proclaimed by the 
anthem of " Glory to God in the highest, and 
on earth peace, good-will to men." But for 
the past few days I have felt the spirit of pray- 
er, and to-day I retired to my chamber, and on 
the bended knee put up the petition that He 
who has the power would give wisdom to the 
leaders of the North, that they may so move 
and manage as to bring to a close this frat- 
ricidal war and strife. 

My spirit is clothed in mourning as I feel it 

io6 Memoir of 

to be a solemn truth that we as a people, raised 
up by the power of the Most High to show to 
the world the sufficiency of the Divine Spirit 
in man to do away with all sin and oppression, 
have not so dwelt under His teachings as a 
united whole as to be instruments in carrying 
the work of emancipation to the slave to a final 
issue in the spirit of love and peace. But we 
have in a great degree settled down in our 
ceiled houses, while those who have been ac- 
tively engaged in the cause have taken rea- 
son as a sufficient guide and have failed to 
accomplish the work. Hence the sword has 
been taken up, and it appears that that will 
be done in judgment which would otherwise 
have been done in mercy without the shedding 
of blood, had all waited for qualification and 
command from the Most High. Do we not 
see that this iniquitous institution has pro- 
duced its legitimate results ? That through 
the exercise of authority over the slave by the 
slaveholder, a desire has been begotten amongst 
them as a people to take the reins of govern- 
ment in their own hands and rule the whole 
nation ; thus perpetuating slavery and extend- 

Rachael Hicks. 107 

ing it into the Territories of this country? But 
in the counsels of Infinite Wisdom the means 
taken to perpetuate this great evil have proved 
the means of its downfall. I fully believe that 
President Lincoln felt it to be his duty to God to 
make the proclamation of emancipation to the 
millions of slaves in the Southern States, and 
that those who held them in bondage had to real- 
ize in their own experience the truth declared 
by the Lord's prophet formerly, to a transgress- 
ing people, "Thine own wickedness shall correct 
thee, and thy backslidings shall reprove thee." 

Many have rejoiced and do rejoice that the 
inhabitants of our nation can no longer make 
merchandise of their fellow-man, and for this 
may we render unto Thee, O holy Father, the 
tribute of thanksgiving and praise, for the work 
is Thine, the power is Thine, to turn the hearts 
of the children of men, therefore the praise is 
ever Thy due. 

Closely allied to our testimony to peace do I 
feel that to be of a free gospel ministry ; and my 
petition ascends in deep humility to the Lord 
of Hosts, that He will open the eyes of the in- 
habitants of this land, that they may see that 

io8 Memoir of 

He will teach the people Himself, by His own 
spirit, which He has brought forth in every soul ; 
and that He will give them to see that this is 
His only begotten Son, the Saviour to all who 


are obedient to its teachings. 

This it is which leads and guides into all 
truth, and preserves from all error, and enables 
those who are its subjects to worship the Father 
in spirit and in truth, as Jesus Christ testified 
was acceptable unto Him. It is by this power 
only that mankind can be preserved from the 
influence of a mercenary priesthood, through 
the agency of which we fear the minds of the 
people will be turned away from a full depend- 
ence upon the Spirit of Truth. Those of this 
class who depend alone upon what they learn by 
study of books to qualify them to preach to the 
people, and gain a livelihood thereby, gaining 
an influence and ascendency over their minds, 
may gradually take hold of the reins of civil 
government, and lay burdens heavy to bear. 
The people being thus sorely oppressed, their 
sighing and crying will ascend unto their Father 
in Heaven for relief, and only through suffering, 
as in the Reformation after the Dark Ages, will 

Rachael Hicks. 109 

the devoted children of the Lord be relieved 
from the requisitions they for conscience' sake 
cannot comply with. Thus by the mighty 
power of Jehovah, a people may again be raised 
up, uniting with the few who through all have 
been faithful, bearing the same testimonies 
which Friends have borne to the world for 
more than two centuries. 

no Memoir 'of 


1864 TO 1867. 

Minutes to attend Genesee Yearly Meeting, the Meetings 
constituting New York Yearly Meeting, and to visit the 
Families of Amawalk and Chappaqua Minute to attend 
Philadelphia Yearly Meeting and its Subordinate Meet- 
ings Reflections upon the Work of the Ministry Ac- 
knowledgment of Divine favor. 

HAVING been permitted for several years to 
remain mostly at home, for which favor I felt 
thankful, in the spring of 1864, a concern re- 
vived in my mind to attend the Yearly Meet- 
ing of Genesee, to be held in Canada, and a few 
meetings belonging to it. A Minute of concur- 
rence from our Monthly Meeting having been 
obtained, accompanied by my dear friend Mary 
Jane Field, I went first to Scipio, and attended 
several meetings there, thence to Picker- 
ing, Canada-West, where we made our home 
with our kind friends Nicholas and Margaret 
Brown. Except in the public meetings, it was 

Rachael Hicks. 1 1 1 

not a season of great abounding in Heavenly 
influence; for want of that deep indwelling of 
Spirit, in which only our Heavenly Father con- 
descends to favor the mind with the incomes of 
His love and'solemnizing presence. There is a 
small remnant of devoted servants there, as in 
most other places where our meetings are held. 
7th mo., 1864. I obtained a Minute of our 
Monthly Meeting setting me at liberty to visit 
the meetings constituting our Yearly Meeting, 
and also to visit the families of Amawalk and 
Chappaqua. Friends judged it best for me and 
my dear young friend Phebe Anna Thorne, to 
proceed without a private conveyance or other 
companion being provided from home, but to 
depend upon public conveyances and the kind- 
ness of Friends to be helped on our way. This 
increased the burden of exercise which weighed 
heavily on my mind. In the prospect of so 
great an undertaking, I was ready at times to 
ask of my Heavenly Father to lay the burden 
upon another, younger and better qualified than 
myself. But as no excuse I could plead re- 
leased me, under a sense of His love, wisdom 
and power, all within me bowed in submission 

ii2 Memoir of 

to do, to bear, and to suffer, whatever He 
might permit to come upon me, so that I might 
' finish my course with joy, and the ministry 
given me to testify of the grace of God.' In 
this bowedness of spirit the language of my 
Divine Master was, " Go, and I will be with 
thee ; I will open a way where now thou seest 
no way ; I will put words into thy mouth, and 
enable thee to deliver to the people the testi- 
monies I give thee." Now that the work has 
been accomplished, I feel bound to bear the 
testimony that the promise has been fulfilled 
to my wonder and admiration. The minds of 
Friends and others were opened to receive us, 
and take us from place to place, so that there 
was no difficulty or detention worth naming. 
"Often did the language arise, " This is the 
Lord's doing and it is marvelous in our eyes." 
Blessed, forever blessed, be His great and 
adorable name, saith all within me capable of 
feeling, in that He not only strengthened me 
to perform the journey, but also, that I am 
now permitted to sit by my own fireside, in 
that sweet peace of mind which the world can 
neither given nor take away. 

Rachael Hicks. 113 

4th mo., 1865. Often in taking a view of 
the foregoing journey, my spirit is clothed in 
mourning, in having to see that a number of 
meetings throughout the Society have been 
discontinued ; most of those that remain are 
small, and if there is not a revival of concern 
and dedication to our Divine Master, others 
must ere long follow, which is sorrowful to re- 
flect upon. I fully believe that the Society of 
Friends was raised up to show by example and 
by precept, the sufficiency of the gift of the 
Holy Spirit, which we profess to be led and 
governed by the foundation God himself has 
laid for the members of His Church to stand 
upon ; and that the principles emanating from 
this Divine source are indispensable for the well- 
being of the whole human family. It is sor- 
rowful, that a people thus enlightened should 
fall away and be no more known as an organ- 
ized body. There are living members still pre- 
served, scattered here and there, as " one of a 
city and two of a family," and the prayer oft 
arises in my heart for the preservation of these, 
and that by the mighty power of Jehovah, 
other faithful standard-bearers and laborers 

U4 Memoir of 

may be raised up, and the command given, 
" Go and proclaim the glad tidings of the ever- 
lasting gospel to the inhabitants of the earth ; " 
bearing witness to the truth, that God will 
teach His people Himself by His own spirit in 
the soul of man, and to those who obey Him, 
He will give strength to resist every tempta- 
tion that assails them, and thus they will be 
preserved from sin and its awful consequences 
a plain, simple, but all-powerful way to rest 
and peace here and hereafter. Blessed and 
praised be His great and adorable name, for 
He is everlastingly worthy! 

4th mo., 1865. Under a weight of religious 
concern, I asked of our Monthly Meeting its 
judgment relative to my attending the Yearly 
Meeting of Philadelphia and the meetings com- 
posing it. They gave me a Minute of unity 
which was indorsed by the Quarterly Meeting 
of Westbury in the same month. The prospect 
appeared great and arduous, and a sense of my 
own unfitness and unworthiness rested weight- 
ily upon me, and although the spirit was will- 
ing, the flesh was weak, and at times ready to cry 
out, " I pray Thee, Oh ! Father in Heaven, ex- 

Rachael Hicks. \ 1 5 

cuse me, and lay this burden upon another bet- 
ter qualified than myself." 

Seeing no other way to obtain that peace 
with Him which I prize above all other con- 
siderations, I was made willing to go, and spend 
and be spent, as to the body ; for by long ex- 
perience it has become my chiefest joy to do 
the will of Him that sent me, and to finish 
the work that I feel required of me. 

Knowing that He is not a hard Master, but 
that His goodness is unbounded, and that His 
tender mercies are over all His works, giving 
ability to perform all that He requires, I set out 
with my dear companions, William T. Cock 
and Mary Jane Field, who were faithful armor- 
bearers. By the help and kindness of Friends 
everywhere, but over and above all the super- 
intending care, the aid and assistance of Him 
who is a present helper in the needful time, the 
journey and visit were accomplished in about 
four months' absence from home. 

Language cannot portray the conflicts of the 
mind in and under the preparation for the work 
of the ministry ! To feel the abasedness of self 
so as to become an empty vessel, to sit down and 

1 1 6 Memoir of 

look over an assembly that is expecting a com- 
munication, and to feel that we have not a word 
to say ; that we have nothing to feed upon our- 
selves, much less anything to offer to others ! 
None but those who know in their own ex- 
perience, can realize the humiliation of the 
creature, nor yet the wonder and admiration 
that fills the heart, when in this emptiness a 
passage of Scripture, or a sentence arises in the 
mind with a command, " Rise and utter it, and 
I will be with thee." Then the language of my 
heart ever has been, " The work is Thine, Oh 
Father ; strengthen me to perform it, and let Thy 
will be done." Although the creature shrinks 
with fear that the subject opening in the mind 
could not be explained by me to the honor of 
the principles we profess, but keeping the faith 
in Him who puts forth His little ones and goes 
before them, I have been enabled to relieve my 
mind, and thus feel acquitted in the Divine 
sight ; and I have generally felt that a solemnity 
covered many minds, if not the whole assembly. 
So wonderful to myself has it often seemed that 
words and matter which I had not seen when I 
rose upon my feet, have flowed as fast as I could 

Rachael Hicks. 117 

give utterance, that I now feel bound to record 
it for the encouragement of some little, hum- 
ble tried one who may come after me, and read 
this testimony which I bear to the goodness, 
wisdom, and power of Him who created us for 
His glory and our own happiness. 

Be not afraid to cast thy whole care upon 
Him, but make a full surrender of thyself, 
body, soul, and spirit, to His direction. What- 
ever in thy own mind thou feelest He requires 
of thee, give up to, and perform, and He will 
be thy " exceeding great reward." My heart 
overflows with gratitude, praises, and thanks- 
giving to Him who sits upon the throne of His 
majesty, and is everlastingly worthy ! 

In the retrospect of this journey, I feel that, 
although in this Yearly Meeting as in others, 
there is much cause for mourning and lamen- 
tation, because the love of many for our prin- 
ciples and testimonies seems to have become 
cold and indifferent, yet there is also cause for 
humble gratitude to the Great Head of the 
Church, that many are still preserved on the 
foundation upon which Christ said His Church 
was built, proving that the truth is strongest 

1 1 8 Memoir of 

and will stand and prevail. The building of 
those who thought they had found a better 
way to reform mankind, is seen by many to 
have no foundation that is firm and solid, 
and therefore they are returning to the ever- 
lasting Truth, as testified of by the Holy Je- 
sus, which leads into all truth, and out of all 
error. Some of the young see this, and give 
evidence that they are bending their necks to 
the yoke of the cross, and if they continue in 
faithfulness, a band of valiants will be raised 
up to bear testimony that there is no new way 
to the Kingdom of Heaven, but that it is the 
same that the righteous have trodden in all 
ages obedience to the will of God manifested 
in their own souls. 

6th mo. 26th, 1866. I feel constrained again 
and again to commemorate the goodness and 
loving-kindness of our God, who is " great and 
marvelous " in all His works, "just and true " 
in all His ways. Our own good and His glory 
require of us full and entire dedication unto 
Him wheresoever He may lead, and a faithful 
performance of all that He demands ; then He 
will bless us and multiply His blessings upon 

Rachael Hicks. 119 

us without number. O my soul! thou knowest 
this right well ! In deep abasedness of my 
creaturely spirit and will, I have followed Him 
in various parts of His vineyard to testify 
of His tender mercies to all the workmanship 
of His hands, especially to man, the noblest of 
all His works. 

In mercy I am now permitted peacefully for 
a season, to remain at home, although my 
mind is oft carried back to many for whom 
of late a deep solicitude was felt when min- 
gling with them outwardly ; and my prayers 
are put up for their preservation and dedica- 
tion to the Lord's work and service, believing 
" the harvest truly is great, but the laborers 
are few." Oh ! that a band of faithful laborers 
might be raised up by the mighty power of 
Jehovah, and our meetings all held in the 
authority of Truth ! There would then be a 
flocking to us of those who are seeking rest to 
their souls, and the bread of life to nourish and 
sustain them, who find it not in forms and cer- 
emonies, and a studied lifeless ministry. 

If the Society of Friends wane away, un- 
doubtedly another people will be raised up 

I2O Memoir of 

upon the same foundation on which the liv- 
ing members of the Church of Christ have ever 
stood the " Spirit of Truth " the revealed will, 
the power and wisdom of God in the soul of 
man. The Lord Almighty will have a people 
as witness to His power and goodness, both 
by example and precept saying unto others, 
" Come ye and let us go up to the mountain 
of the Lord, to the house of the God of Ja- 
cob, and He will teach us of His ways, and we 
will walk in His paths." In righteousness shall 
these be established, ascribing " Glory to God 
in the Highest ! and on earth peace, good will 
toward men." Then would the nations cease 
to learn war any more. 

7th mo. 3Oth, 1866. Being about to leave 
home for a short time, and as there have been 
many sudden deaths lately, it feels to me to be 
a solemn season, and a loud call to be extended, 
" Be ye also ready." I have oft put up the 
prayer, Search me, O Lord, and if there be 
anything in me not well pleasing in Thy sight, 
do Thou it away ; and again and again the re- 
sponding language in my heart is and has been, 
" There is nothing in thy way to the mansion 

Rachael Hicks. 121 

in the Divine Father's house prepared for thee, 
if thou hold out to the end in watchfulness and 
obedience to His requisitions." I feel drawn 
to leave this record for my friends who survive, 
should I never return to my home on earth. 
Peace, sweet peace, covers my spirit while I 
write to encourage all to follow Christ inwardly 
manifested, as I have endeavored to follow His 
monitions. The reward is beyond the power 
of human language to portray. This my soul 
knoweth right well. Blessed, forever blessed 
be the name of God ! 

2d mo. 3d, 1867. Once more I take the 
pen to commemorate the wonderful goodness, 
loving-kindness, and mercy of our God. Oft 
day by day my soul bows in solemn reverence 
before His majesty, acknowledging His al- 
mightiness. Feeling it is our interest and our 
duty to serve and worship Him, my prayers are 
put up to Him before I rise from my pillow, 
and often through the day, to preserve me from 
every evil feeling, thought, word, or action ; 
that my outward deportment may show forth 
the sufficiency of His grace in the heart, and 
my soul be favored with peace by the incomes 

122 Memoir of 

of His love, and by the feeling of acceptance 
with Him. Oh ! blessed be His name ! in deep 
humility and gratitude I record it, He oft gives 
me to feel there is not anything recorded 
against me in the Lamb's Book of Life. Here 
my soul rests in Him, although not always fa- 
vored with the sense of His approving pres- 
ence ; but I have learned patiently to wait until 
He sees meet to return with joy unspeakable. 

Rachael Hicks. 123 


1867 TO iS/O. 

Visits some of the Subordinate Meetings of New York 
Yearly Meeting, as one of a Committee appointed to that 

9TH mo. I3th, 1867. Our late Yearly Meet- 
ing having been brought under a deep concern 
on account of continued reports in the answers 
to the queries of omission in many of our mem- 
bers, of steadily attending our religious meet- 
ings appointed a committee to visit the subor- 
dinate meetings, as way opened in the Truth, to 
encourage the performance of this reasonable 
duty. Being one of the committee, and feel- 
ing a concern to attend the meetings compos- 
ing Stanford Quarterly Meeting, in company 
with several appointed to this weighty service, 
I performed the visit, and also attended some 
meetings in Nine Partners Quarter, and within 
the verge of our own. We found many of them 
very small, although they were in former days 

124 Memoir of 

nearly all large, and held in a good degree in 
the authority of Truth. They have now dwin- 
dled down ; but we were informed that there are 
members sufficient to keep up a good meeting, 
if all would attend under a religious concern to 
worship in spirit and in Truth, Him to whom 
reverence and worship are ever due. The right- 
ly concerned were grieved to see and feel the 
great indifference thus manifested by our fellow 
professors, and the consequent decline of our 
Society, for if we cease to be a people uphold- 
ing the great and important testimonies given 
us to bear, it will be a sad loss to the world. 

At seasons I feel encouraged in the belief that 
there are still living members of the Church of 
Christ amongst us, in the various meetings still 
kept up; and that He who oft works by instru- 
ments, as well as immediately by His own 
Spirit, will continue to raise up standard-bear- 
ers to the eternal principles of the pure, unde- 
nted religion His son Jesus Christ came into 
the world to testify of, although we, as an or- 
ganized body, wane away. 

3d mo. 4th, 1868. This day in our Monthly 
Meeting, feeling that my peace with my Heav- 

Rachael Hicks. 125 

enly Father consisted in obedience to the re- 
quisition, I arose on my feet, and gave utter- 
ance to a burden of concern that had long laid 
weightily upon my mind. 

I have observed an increase of departure 
from plainness, simplicity and moderation in 
our dress, deportment and manner of living, 
etc., etc. Some of our youth attend various 
places of amusement, and there is a pleading for 
these indulgences by many parents, and also 
by those of riper years ; evidences of decline 
for which my soul was grieved. Apprehending 
that not a few of those I dearly loved would 
turn from me in disunity, it felt to me like be- 
ing nailed to the cross, to speak thus plainly, 
in bearing my testimony against these vain and 
hurtful indulgences of human nature, the con- 
sequence of which, if persisted in, must ere 
long be sad and sorrowful. To be clear of these, 
and to stand acquitted in the Divine sight, I 
arose and delivered all that I believed was giv- 
en me to say, having been made willing to en- 
dure anything my fellow creatures could inflict, 
rather than give up my peace with my God. 
Under these exercises I could see and feel 

126 Memoir of 

why the holy Jesus could go to crucifixion, the 
martyrs to the stake, or to the gallows, and to 
prison or to the loathsome dungeon ; because in 
submission, all these could say, as the Divine 
Master did, " Oh my Father, if this cup may not 
pass away from me except I drink it, Thy will 
be done." In this state there was and ever is 
that sweet heavenly peace the world with all its 
treasures and pleasures never can give, nor its 
temptations and allurements take away. In a 
measure of this peace, which satisfies my soul, 
I took my seat, and now record this day's ex- 
perience for the encouragement of some deeply 
tried mind that may read this, my testimony to 
to the goodness and loving-kindness of Him 
who is calling us to come unto Him, and He 
will give rest to our souls. Blessed be his 
name ! 

6th mo. 6th, 1869. Our late Yearly Meeting 
was a season of encouragement to my mind, 
and I trust also to many others. We had 
abundant evidence, amid all our short-com- 
ings, that we are not a forsaken people, but 
that our Divine Father is still in our midst, 
solemnizing and uniting our spirits in a harmo- 

Rachael Hicks. 127 

nious labor for the preservation of our religious 
Society on the basis upon which it was origi- 
nally established which was the wisdom and 
power of God, which will ever stand, though 
all men forsake it. The principles emanating 
from this being immutable, as we live and move 
under its influence, we live righteous, holy 
lives ; dealing justly, loving mercy, and walk- 
ing humbly before God, and our influence tends 
to draw others to the high and holy way. 

Although to human nature it seems strait, and 
too narrow, yet many have left on record, and 
not a few now know in their own experience, 
that it leads to sweet peace here on earth, and 
the promise of joy unspeakable in the world to 
come. Hence we ardently desire the continu- 
ation of our religious Society upon its original 
foundation the spirit of Truth in the soul. 
Every soul that is obedient to its teachings is 
led into a course of life which is the most con- 
ducive to real happiness, and all the enjoyment 
man has a right to look for in this state of trial 
and probation. In the bereavements and afflic- 
tions that our Father in Heaven sees best to 
permit to come upon us to wean us from this 

128 Memoir of 

lower world, He is our comforter and our staff 
to lean upon, and we can say with the Psalmist, 
in addressing the Most High, " Thou art my 
hiding place, and my shield." 

I believe, under these views and feelings, ou r 
Yearly Meeting two years ago appointed a 
committee to visit our subordinate meetings^ 
which was continued until our late Yearly 
Meeting, when it was released. By its mem- 
bers nearly all the meetings, and some fami- 
lies, were visited. Whether any good will re- 
sult from these labors may not be best for us 
to know ; but they who have performed what 
they believed their Divine Master required of 
them feel acquitted in His sight, and expe- 
rience that " peace of God which passeth all 
understanding." I write this as the testi- 
mony of some, and it is what I realized in 
my own experience, as in company with my 
dear companions, Robert R. Willetsand Phebe 
Anna Thorne, I attended the Quarterly Meet- 
ings of Saratoga, Easton, and Duanesburg, and 
all the meetings composing the latter. We 
also visited the eight families of our members 
in Peru, and a few at Granville ; at the last two 

Rachel Hicks. 129 

places Andrew Borland was with us. In Peru 
we had two meetings appointed on Firstday. 
In the morning at Friends' Meeting House, 
and in the afternoon at a Presbyterian House 
in Peru village, which was well attended by 
those not members with us, but who, as we 
were told, were desirous to attend a Friends' 
Meeting ; a fact which is among the evidences 
we have that many around us sorrow to see our 
meetings decline. 

Oh ! then, it is the prayer of my spirit that 
we may be aroused and cry mightily to our 
Creator to save us upon the foundation that 
Jesus Christ said his Church was built upon, 
and that He will raise up testimony bearers by 
His own power, and send them to labor in 
His vineyard. The response to this interces- 
sion oft has been : " If obedience to His will 
manifested in the soul were faithfully attended 
to, many would be raised up to tell unto others 
what the Almighty has done for their souls," 
ascribing all praise and thanksgiving to Him 
who sends forth and goes before, and with His 
little dependent ones. Blessed be His name 
forever and ever. 

130 Memoir of 


1867 TO 1873. 

Acknowledgment of Divine Favor Obtains a Minute to at- 
tend all the Yearly Meetings with which we are in 
Unity Attends Philadelphia Yearly Meeting Also the 
Yearly Meetings of Ohio, Indiana, and Baltimore, and 
the remote Meetings in Illinois and Iowa Attends Gene- 
see Yearly Meeting Retrospect of the Service. 

7TH mo. loth, 1870. Since the committee 
appointed by our Yearly Meeting in 1867, was 
released, I have been permitted by the wisdom 
and condescension of my Heavenly Father, to 
remain at home, feeling that my day's work 
was nearly accomplished in going to and fro in 
the earth, and that my labor and exercises 
henceforth are to be mostly at and about home, 
for which favor thankfulness oft rises in my 
heart to Him who clothes my mind with that 
sweet peace the world can neither give nor 
take away. Yet I feel the necessity of watch- 
fulness, prayer and obedience to all that my 

Rachel Hicks. 131 

Heavenly Father requires of me, that in the 
evening of my life I may feel and manifest a 
meek and quiet spirit ; that my sun may set in 
brightness, and that finally my immortal spirit 
may receive the crown of " Well done ! good 
and faithful servant ! " I have long seen that 
greenness in old age is one of the greatest evi- 
dences of the sufficiency of the Spirit of Truth 
to preserve from all error, and lead into a life 
of righteousness. 

Sometimes in our meetings, of tatter times, 
when I feel required to rise and address an as- 
sembly, I am ready to plead excuses on account 
of my old age, but the language arises, " If 
now thou disobeyest, thy spiritual strength will 
wane away, and thou wilt be left poor, and in 
darkness." Oh ! then, may I, and all others 
continue in faithfulness, for it is the end that 
crowns all. Let none of us who have long 
labored say we have done enough, and may 
now rest ; for we cannot do too much in the 
cause of Truth and righteousness to obtain by 
the mercy of God a mansion in His house, 
where all is joy and peace throughout the end- 
less ages of eternity. Well might the Psalmist 

132 Memoir of 

repeatedly say, " Praise ye the Lord," " Make 
a joyful noise unto the Lord all ye lands! " 

1st mo. 7th, 1872. Once more I take the 
pen to commemorate the goodness and loving- 
kindness of our God, our Father in Heaven, 
whose tender mercies are over all His works. 
Gratitude to Him flows in my heart, that He 
has in a great measure released me from travel- 
ing abroad, although early in the year 1871, I 
felt the necessity of being resigned once more 
to attend all the Yearly Meetings with which 
we are in unity. In accordance with these im- 
pressions of religious duty I obtained a Minute 
of our Monthly Meeting, and in 5th mo. at- 
tended Philadelphia Yearly Meeting, to the re- 
lief and peace of my mind, although I felt that 
I was one of the least, if at all worthy to be 
called one of the flock of the companions of 
Christ, yet I was favored to do all that I felt 
my Heavenly Father required of me, and His 
reward is sweet peace. My companions were 
my dear friends Mary Jane Field and William 
T. Cock. 

In 9th and loth months, having obtained 
minutes of Westbury Monthly and Quarterly 

Rachel Hicks. 133 

Meetings, with Mary Jane Field and Edward 
Rushmore who were my kind and useful com- 
panions I attended the Yearly Meetings of 
Ohio, Indiana, and Baltimore, and some of the 
meetings composing them, especially the re- 
mote meetings in Illinois and Iowa. Friends 
removing and settling there feel concerned to 
meet together to worship the Most High, and 
although their meetings are small, they oft 
realize the truth of the declaration of Christ, 
" Where two or three are gathered together in 
my name there am I in the midst of them," and 
they feel encouraged to hope for an increase 
in numbers. Marietta, in Iowa, the most re- 
mote meeting, is said to be 1300 miles from 
the city of New York. We were from home 
about ten weeks, attended between thirty and 
forty meetings, besides the three Yearly Meet- 

The prospect of so long and arduous a 
journey caused many conflicts of mind and 
reasonings of the creature. I was almost ready 
to ask my Divine Master to lay the burden of 
exercise upon one in younger life, and better 
qualified than myself. All my reasonings were 

134 Memoir of 

in vain, and I clearly saw that the only way to 
obtain that peace, which is above all price, was 
to be able to say " Not my will, but Thine O 
God be done," and the gracious promise to me 
was " Go, and I will be with thee, enabling thee 
to do all that I require of thee, if thou continue 
to look to Me for aid and guidance." This 
promise, now that the work is accomplished, I 
may acknowledge was wonderfully fulfilled, as 
through all, my mind was peaceful and quiet; 
not desiring great things for myself, but willing 
to do the little required, and to be called one 
of the little ones. Everywhere Friends re- 
ceived us with great kindness, doing what they 
could to help us on our way, for which I felt 
grateful to them, but more especially to Him 
who, I believe, put it into their hearts to treat 
us thus kindly. 

When I arrived at my own quiet home, I was 
thankful that I had returned in safety, and now 
in a retrospect of the journey my heart is filled 
with sweet peace. I was ready to say, " The 
work Thou gavest me to do is finished. Why 
may I not depart to my rest in Heaven ? I see 
nothing in my way ; why may I not go and be 

Rachel Hicks. 135 

at rest ? " Nature seemed to crave it, but the 
responding language was, "A little longer, a 
little longer, must thou stay in this lower 
world ; thy day's work is not quite accomplish- 
ed ;" and I said in my heart, "Thy will be 
done." Mingle with thy friends, is the lan- 
guage of the Divine Spirit in my soul ; mingle 
with them in that love that unites and binds 
together in the bond of peace. Loving God 
above all and obeying Him, we are instruments 
in His hand in spreading the principles of His 
peaceable kingdom amongst men. My love 
flows to the whole human family with desires 
for the salvation of every soul. 

6th mo. 2d, 1872. Having attended the late 
Genesee Yearly M eeting, held in Canada, the 
prospect that opened on my mind some time 
ago to attend all the Yearly Meetings in unity 
with our own is now accomplished, and I feel 
a release from the exercise. Although I feel 
it is but little that I have done as a laborer in 
the Lord's vineyard, yet the language in my 
heart oft is, " Let her alone ; she hath done 
what she could," and in the sweet peace of 
mind I feel, I can say, <: It is enough." In 

136 Memoir of 

seasons of discouragement, the query has 
arisen, of what avail are all these journeyings 
to any besides thyself? But if, by the mercy 
of God, my own soul is saved from condemna- 
tion, it is of more value than language can ex- 

And now in the evening of life, seeing my 
day's work is nearly if not quite accomplished 
in going to and fro in the earth, the aspira- 
tion of my spirit is that I may not take my 
" flight on the Sabbath day," sitting down in 
ease and unconcern, supposing I have noth- 
ing more to do. I feel that watchfulness, 
prayer, and obedience are now as necessary as 
ever, if I receive the crown at the end of my 
race, the crown of" Well done, thou good and 
faithful servant, enter into the joy of thy 
Lord," and into thy Master's rest. Surely we 
cannot do too much to obtain, through the lov- 
ing-kindness of our Heavenly Father, this pre- 
cious boon to be enjoyed through a never-end- 
ing eternity. Even in this world, there is a 
sufficient reward in the sweet peace that flows 
into the soul of the humbly dedicated servant, 
at times and seasons when He sees it to be for 

Rachel Hicks. 137 

our benefit thus to feed us. Blessed, forever 
blessed, be His great and adorable name! saith 
my spirit, for oft has He lifted my soul as out of 
the mire and thick clay, and put in my heart 
a song of thanksgiving and praise, to Him who 
is everlastingly worthy. 

I feel gratefully to say, that all the Yearly 
Meetings which within the past year I have 
attended were seasons of Divine favor more 
so, it appeared to me, than at some former 
periods encouraging us to hold fast the pro- 
fession we make of being led and guided by 
the Divine Spirit in our souls. Thus only can 
we be instruments in His power and wisdom of 
gathering others to the foundation Christ said 
His Church was built upon, and to the Father 
shall we then ascribe all the glory and all the 
praise : for without Him we poor frail mortals 
cannot perform any good word or work. 

138 Memoir of 


1873 TO 1875. 

Reflections on the Nineteenth Anniversary of the Death of 
her Son Abraham Retrospect of her Life upon entering 
her Eighty-sixth Year. 

. IITH mo. I2th, 1873. Nineteen years ago 
this day, my last and strongest tie to earth 
was severed in the death of my son Abraham, 
who was dearer to me than my own life, as in 
him seemed concentrated all that passed away 
before him. By his dedication to His Divine 
Master, his life was blameless, and his moral 
character without spot or blemish. The void 
I have long felt I have no language to de- 
scribe, and this has been a day of solemn re- 
flection in feeling my great loss; but in this, 
the language arises to my Heavenly Father, 
" Thou gavest, and Thou hast taken away, 
blessed be Thy name ! " Through Thy mercy 
and loving-kindness I have now a family in 

Rachel Hicks. 139 

Heaven. Oh ! dearest Father ! enable me so 
to live the remainder of my mortal life, that in 
the solemn moment when the immortal soul 
shall stand naked and bare before Thee, the 
righteous and holy Judge, it may be prepared 
to receive the sentence Thou in Thy infinite 
wisdom seest meet to give. 

If I am accepted in Thy sight, it is enough for 
me, whether the faculty be given me or not to 
recognize those who have been near and dear 
to me in this life ; the language of my spirit is, 
"Thy will be done." I have no anxious desire 
to know precisely what my condition will be, 
having full confidence in Thy infinite wisdom, 
love and mercy. I feel safe in Thy hands, in 
Thy infinite power, and that is my rest and con- 
solation while passing through this probation- 
ary scene, and my hope for a never-ending 

Although I have much to be thankful for as to 
outward things a comfortable home, and near 
relatives who are kind and attentive to me, 
which I feel to be a great favor yet the lan- 
guage of my spirit oft is, there is no real joy 
but the joy of God's salvation. I am thankful 

140 Memoir of 

that I am permitted now in old age to remain 
at home, in that sweet peace which the world 
can neither give nor take away, although I 
often mourn over the evident departure of 
many of my fellow-creatures from the straight 
and narrow way that leads to eternal life. 

4th mo. 2oth, 1874. The lothof this month 
I was 85 years old ; a long life it seems to me, 
although time flies rapidly and the end is draw- 
ing near. A solemn reflection ! and oft in a 
retrospect of my life the query arises, how far 
have I answered the design of my omnipotent 
Creator, who created all mankind for His own 
glory, and the immortal soul to be glorified with 
Him hereafter in Heaven. He has given all 
rational beings the liberty to choose for them- 
selves whether they will obey Him in doing 
His will as He reveals it to the soul of man, 
and so reap of Him the sweet reward of peace 
of mind here, and a well-grounded hope of a 
glorious immortality in the world to come ; or 
on the other hand, whether they will turn away 
from Him in disobedience, and go into the 
broad way that leads to destruction. By this 
latter choice of mankind comes all the sin and 

Rachel Hicks. 141 

wickedness that is, or ever has been, in the 
world, which the Lord's servants mourn over ; 
and the language of my spirit is to those now 
on the stage of action, who have thus departed : 
Repent in deep humility ; petition forgiveness 
of Him who receives the penitent, returning 
sinner, and will clothe him with innocency and 
acceptance. It is testified in the Scriptures of 
Truth that there is "joy in Heaven" over 
these as well as over all who do the will of our 
Father in Heaven. 

It is my desire to encourage my fellow-heirs 
of eternity to say in sincerity of heart, ' Thy will, 
Oh God, be done, and not mine,' by example and 
precept, as my Divine Father has enabled me 
to do ; for if in any degree I have answered the 
end and design of my existence, all glory and 
praise are due to Him. I feel myself weak and 
utterly unable to perform any good word or 
work without His aid and assistance. He has 
ever been a present helper in the needful 
time ; when I have, in my own soul, looked 
to Him, He has graciously fulfilled the prom- 
ise, " Ask and ye shall receive." Now. in the 
evening of life, it is my fervent desire to be 

142 Memoir of 

clothed with a meek and quiet spirit, mani- 
festing to those with whom I mingle the 
sufficiency of the Spirit of Truth, if obeyed, 
to overcome all of human nature, so as to 
live a righteous life ; and I believe I may 
say that every morning when I behold the 
dawn of another day, my prayer is put up to 
Omnipotence to preserve me from every feel- 
ing, thought, word or action contrary to His 
holy will and wisdom, and when I retire to my 
rest at night I am concerned to feel how I 
stand in His sight, who sees the innermost re- 
cesses of the heart. Blessed be His name! in 
deep humility, I record it, the language is, 
" There is not anything recorded against thee 
in the Lamb's Book of Life." Then, oh ! then, 
I close my eyes in faith that if I " die before I 
wake," my soul is safe in Him who is all good- 
ness, love and mercy. 

8th mo. 23d, 1874. This day our meeting 
was larger than usual, many not members of 
our Society being there. I felt there was a 
great desire to hear vocal communication ; and, 
although the fervent desire of my spirit was 
that all might be favored to feel the solemniz- 

Rachel Hicks. 143 

ing power and presence of Him whom we pro- 
fess to worship, I dared not rise to address 
them unless I felt that " Woe is unto me " if I 
do not testify unto them of the Gospel, which 
is the power and wisdom of God unto salva- 
tion. But, not feeling this, I was favored to sit 
in silence ; although the desire to gratify the 
assembly seemed like a temptation to attempt 
to speak, as several passages of Scripture were 
brought to my remembrance ; but not feeling 
the command, " Rise and I will be with thee, 
and qualify thee for the service I require of 
thee," I kept my seat in silence, for which I 
feel humbly thankful. 

And now a word of exhortation rises in my 
heart to all ministers, to be watchful and care- 
ful to guard against the desire to gratify those 
who are looking for words from their fellow 
creatures. Better for these to go empty away, 
than to be fed by the ministration of those who 
move in their own wills and human judgment 
and qualification ; for these cannot preach the 
Gospel, nor gather to the Gospel. Therefore, 
let all who look to mortal man learn in their 
own experience the necessity of looking to Him 

144 Memoir of 

who sees the heart, and of relying upon Him, 
who in His own time will give that spiritual 
food which nourishes the soul unto eternal life. 
These being obedient to God and His requir- 
ings in the secret of their souls, feeling bound 
together in the heavenly relationship of 
brethren, will love to meet to worship the 
Father in spirit and in Truth, alt hough they 
may sit in solemn silence, waiting on the 

If any one is required to speak in His name, 
it will be to the edification of the assembly 
and the peace of mind of the speaker. O 
then, saith my spirit, that all of every age may 
be faithfully obedient to Him, who created 
them to glorify Him while here on earth, and 
the soul to be glorified with Him hereafter 
in Heaven. Then our meetings would be 
held in the authority of Truth, and many 
would be gathered to us who are longing for 
that spiritual bread that comes from our 
Father in Heaven, who is worthy of all wor- 
ship, adoration and praise, now and forever 

1 1 th mo. /th, 1874. A few days ago I at- 

Rachel Hicks. 

tended the funeral in our meeting-house * of a 
child three years of age ; and, from the manner 
in which the information was given me, I 
thought it belonged to the Orthodox part of 
the Society of Friends. But, seeing no one in 
the gallery, the query arose in my mind, " Have 
I any testimony to bear to the assembly?" 
(which appeared to be mostly of that sect). 

The response was, God is a God of order, and 
every sect and denomination of religious pro- 
fessors has a right to conduct its meetings and 
funerals in its own way, and others have no 
right to interfere without asking permission, 
or being informed that liberty is granted ; as 
in several instances I have known in my own 
experience. But nothing of this now occurred, 
and although I felt that some expression was 
due to the assembly, I did not feel authorized 
to give it, and solemn silence covered our 
minds. The language in my heart was, how 
much better is this than a lifeless communi- 
cation ! And the prayer of my spirit ascended, 
that every mind might reverently feel the ne- 

* It was customary for both branches of the Society of 
Friends to hold funerals in this house. 

146 Memoir of 

cessity of being prepared for the solemn close 
of mortal life. 

At the rise of the meeting I felt it a duty 
to speak words of consolation to the parents, 
who deeply mourned the loss of an only child, 
and who, I afterward learned, attended our 
meetings more than those of the Orthodox. 
Some of my friends gently and kindly rebuked 
me for my silence, and seemed to wonder that 
I did not feel out that they and some rela- 
tives would have been better satisfied with 
some communication. I replied, " I had done, 
the best that I could; that I had not the gift 
of discerning particular states as some others 
had." Thus we see the necessity of charity 
for one another ; that charity and forbearance 
which spring out of love to God and love to 
our fellow creatures. 

Although we may differ from each other in 
some of our views or doctrines of the Christian 
religion, yet I think that with very few excep- 
tions mankind, in all ages, have believed and 
do believe in the existence of a Supreme Being 
who is omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipres- 
ent, and that to Him worship is due. Even 

Rachel Hicks. 147 

those we term pagan or heathen, although 
they bow down to or worship gods of their 
own preparing, they have an idea of a power 
and wisdom far greater than they possess, and 
I trust that it maybe said of them, as Paul said 
to the Athenians, " I passed by and beheld your 
devotions. I found an altar with this inscrip- 
tion: 'To the unknown God;' whom, there- 
fore, ye ignorantly worship," etc. 

When I have beheld the many weaknesses 
and inconsistencies of those called Christians, 
with all their great and high professions of be- 
ing the followers of the meek and lowly Jesus, 
a fear has arisen in my mind that in the sight 
of Him who sees and searches all hearts, many 
of them are not as acceptable worshippers as 
many of those we term heathen. But let us 
have charity ; for He who is all power and wis- 
dom, is also love and mercy, and deals with his 
accountable creatures according to their state 
and condition, and the circumstances in which 
they have been placed. 

We see that when the Israelites came out 
of Egypt they were not in a state prepared 
to understand and practice the peaceable prin- 

148 Memoir of 

ciples that Jesus taught ; therefore the Law 
was given, adapted to their state and condition. 
" An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth " 
was the law given them through Moses, the 
Lord's servant. But in the fullness of time, 
when some of them were prepared to receive 
Him, Jesus came, authorized by His Father, to 
bear witness to the Truth ; proclaiming " Love 
to God and love to man," and commanding us 
when smitten on one cheek, to turn the other 
also ; and when reviled, to revile not again ; to 
love them that hate us, to bless them that 
curse us, and to pray for them who despite- 
fully use us and persecute us. If the Jews had 
received the Messiah in the way of his coming, 
and kept His commandments in love to God 
and to one another, they would have been a 
united people, living in true harmony, and not 
divided arid contending as they were, when the 
temple and Jerusalem were destroyed, and they 
scattered among the nations of the earth as at 
this day; a warning to all people against dis- 
obedience to the manifested will of God, who 
is love. They who are obedient to Him dwell 
in love, and it breathes " Glory to God in the 

Rachel Hicks. 149 

highest, and on earth peace, good will toward 
men." It is the prayer of my spirit to live in 
this state to the end of my days on earth, that 
my soul may through mercy be received here- 
after in Heaven. 

150 Memoir of 


IS/5 TO l8;8. 

Retrospect at the Opening of the Year Return of Minute, 
after visiting the Families of Friends and Friendly People 
in the Monthly Meetings of Westbury and Jericho Grati- 
tude for the Continued Evidences of Divine Favor in the 
Evening of Life Attends Baltimore Yearly Meeting Her 
Closing Record after entering her Ninetieth Year. 

1ST mo. 3d, 1875. Another year has passed 
away, showing the rapid flight of time. How 
is it with thee, oh my soul, hast thou been pre- 
served in a state of acceptance with thy Heav- 
enly Father? In the retrospect, the language 
arises, ' Let her alone,' 'she has done what she 
could.' Although I feel my own great weakness 
and human frailty, my heart overflows with 
gratitude and thanksgiving to Him who is om- 
nipotent and omnipresent, in that He has gra- 
ciously condescended to speak peace to my 
soul when I felt my incapacity to restrain my 
thoughts from wandering from that constant 

Rachel Hicks. 1 5 1 

meditation on His wonderful attributes of 
power, wisdom and love, which I have long felt 
are due to Him. In His infinite mercy I have 
heard the language, " I have seen the sincerity 
of thy heart, therefore thou art accepted of 
Me." Then I could close my eyes in sleep, 
feeling safe in His wisdom and power. Bless- 
ed, forever blessed, be His name ! saith my 

At our late Monthly Meeting I returned the 
Minute it gave me a few months before, setting 
me at liberty to visit the families of Friends 
and friendly people, in the Monthly Meetings 
of Westbury and Jericho, with the information 
that the service had been performed to the 
peace of my own mind: and I may here add, 
through the kindness and attention of my 
friends, and over and above all the goodness of 
my Heavenly Father, in giving me strength of 
body and mind to perform all that I believed 
He required of me. Therefore my heart bows 
in humble reverence before Him, in praise and 
thanksgiving for His mercy to all who rely upon 
Him, and dedicate themselves, body, soul, and 
spirit to do His will, as He reveals it in the se- 

152 Memoir of 

cret of the soul. " O ! " saith my spirit, " that 
all would yield up their own wills, and say in 
sincerity, ' Thy will, Oh God ! be done.' " 

I had thought before this duty was felt in 
my mind, that my labor of going from house to 
house in this way, and also in visiting meet- 
ings was accomplished, but He who sees the 
heart knows best what is best for us. Although 
all my labors, for aught I know, may not have 
been of any use or benefit to any but myself, 
the reward to my own soul is enough. Blessed, 
forever blessed, be His name, who puts forth 
His little ones ; His reward is sure and abund- 
ant my soul knoweth right well. Now in the 
evening of life I am peaceful and quiet in a 
comfortable home, patiently waiting for the 
solemn close. Human language cannot portray 
my sense of the fullness of the goodness and 
loving-kindness of Jehovah, who abundantly 
provides for all He has created. 

7th mo. 1st, 1877. Once more I take the 
pen to commemorate the unbounded goodness, 
wisdom, power, and loving - kindness of our 
Heavenly Father to His little unworthy ser- 
vant, as I feel myself to be, often saying in 

Rachel Hicks. 153 

heart, " Without Thee I am poor, but with 
Thee rich ; take what Thou wilt away." Fre- 
quently when alone as to the outward, I feel 
that if He is with me, it is enough. Praises and 
thanksgiving oft rise in my soul, that now in 
the evening of mortal life, He in wisdom and 
mercy permits me to remain at home in a 
quiet, peaceful state of mind, rejoicing that my 
day's work, as to traveling to and fro in the 
earth, was done in the daytime, when strength 
of body and mind were sufficient, through and 
by His aid and assistance to enable me to per- 
form the service I fully believed He required 
of me. Now, as heretofore, I feel watchfulness, 
prayer, and obedience are necessary to preserve 
me from sitting down at ease, and thus taking 
my " flight on the Sabbath day." 

Oft the language arises in my mind, " Min- 
gle with thy friends, endeavoring by example 
and precept to promote love, harmony, and 
good will amongst thy fellow creatures ; " and 
although I feel some of the bodily infirmities 
of old age, being now in my 89th year, I am 
able through the unbounded mercy of our 
Heavenly Father to attend all our religious 

154 Memoir of 

meetings as they come in course, from our 
Yearly Meetings down to our mid-week meet- 
ings and meetings for discipline: and some- 
times, though seldom, I feel required to utter 
a few words in them, which is a great favor, for 
there is much enjoyment in sitting down with 
my friends in solemn silence and in unity of 
spirit, waiting upon the Lord, realizing that 
we are one another's helpers in Him, for in 
unity there is strength, and our love for each 
other is increased by thus mingling together. 

When I behold vacant seats my spirit is 
grieved, and my prayers are put up to Omnip- 
otent Power that if consistent with His will and 
wisdom, He will give parents more sensibly to 
feel that it is their duty to their children to 
take them to our religious meetings twice in 
the week, for surely the command still is, 
" Train up a child in the way he should go : 
and when he is old, he will not depart from it.' ' 
My petitions are oft put up to our Heavenly 
Father, that He will raise up faithful and de- 
voted laborers, and send them into His vine- 
yard, under His influence and qualification, to 
tell unto others what He, in His love and mer- 

Rachel Hicks. 155 

cy, has done for their souls ; for He works by 
instruments, as well as by His Spirit in the soul 
but all centres in " Thy will be done." 

nth mo. loth, 1877. Once more I desire to 
bear my testimony to the goodness, loving- 
kindness, and mercy of our omnipotent Creator, 
in whom, as the apostle testified, "we live and 
move and have our being," and who has given 
us every faculty of body and mind, and above all 
a portion of His own Spirit to teach us His will 
and what He would have us to do, and what 
to refrain from. He has showered His favors 
and blessings upon us, therefore we are in 
duty bound to make a full surrender of our 
wills to Him, so that in full sincerity we can 
say, " Thy will, oh ! God, be done." As we are 
obedient to do all He requires of us, great, un- 
speakably great, is our reward in the possession 
of that sweet peace the world can neither give 
nor take away. This my soul knoweth right 
well, oft saying in my heart, " I have no joy nor 
rejoicing but in feeling accepted of Him who 
sees the heart." 

In this quietude of spirit (although I feel 
unworthy of the favor) I have been permitted 

156 Memoir of 

of late to remain at and about my home, think- 
ing I had no more traveling to perform. Un- 
expectedly, I felt it a duty required by my 
Father in Heaven, to attend the late Yearly 
Meeting of Baltimore. The reasonings of the 
creaturely will rising up in my mind, in bowed- 
ness of spirit before the Most High, I put 
up the petition, " What wilt Thou have me 
to do ? " The responsive language was, " Go, 
and I will be with thee and strengthen thee, 
both in body and mind : " and now I can bear 
the testimony, that He did wonderfully fulfill 
the promise. Praises and thanksgiving flow in 
my soul to Him ! for it is due to Him for His 
many favors." I feel myself to be the least 
and most unworthy of all the flock or com- 
pany of the Church militant on earth, but I 
desire above all things so to live before Him 
here as to be one of the Church triumphant 
in Heaven, where time to us shall be no longer. 
The Yearly Meeting in Baltimore was a fa- 
vored season. A large number of ministers 
from other Yearly Meetings attended, who, 
with myself, were recipients of the kind atten- 
tion of friends there, and it was comforting and 

Rachel Hicks. 157 

encouraging to see and feel love and harmony 
prevail ; and although some who were pillars 
in the Lord's house have been taken away, yet 
the feeling was, that others are under the pre- 
paring hand, who, if obedient, will be raised up 
to fill the void now felt. 

5th mo. 1 8th, 1878. On the loth of last 
month I entered my o/Dth year, and I feel it to 
be a long life, and the query arises, How far 
have I in these 89 years, lived so as to answer 
the great purpose of my being ? feeling that 
the whole human family are created by Him, 
who is all power, all wisdom, all love and mercy, 
to glorify Him here on earth, by living right- 
eous, holy lives, and then through His mercy 
and loving-kindness the soul immortal is to be 
glorified with Him in Heaven throughout eter- 
nity. He alone can answer this query ; He 
alone is my Judge. To Him I resign my all 
my body, soul, and spirit. " Thy will be done," 
is oft the language of my soul, for in His will I 
am safe. In the world to come, I do not ask 
of Him to sit on His right hand or His left, but 
if through His mercy, I am permitted to enter 
through the pearl gates into His presence, to 

158 Memoir of 

behold Him on the throne of His majesty, 
and unite with redeemed spirits, in praises 
and hallelujahs to Him, it is enough. Al- 
though he place me in the lowest mansion, 
blessed be His name forever and ever ! saithmy 

[The death of our dear friend occurred so 
soon after her last record in her journal that 
we believe survivors will be interested in some 
of the details of her close. 

About three weeks previous to her death 
she attended Quarterly Meeting held at West- 
bury, L. I. (/th mo., 25th), and with her accus- 
tomed cordiality and cheerfulness entertained 
Friends at her own home. 

The week following she was at meeting on 
fourth day morning, and appeared to be in 
usual health. Toward evening, however, she 
remarked that she did not feel quite well, and 
retired early to her room. Medical advice 
was called, but failed to afford permanent re- 
lief. She was not able to sit up or converse 
much, but manifested throughout her sickness 
the patient endurance and calm trust which 

Rachel Hicks. 159 

were such marked characteristics when she was 
in health. 

A few days before her death, a friend who 
was visiting her inquired how she felt. " I 
am comfortable," she replied, " but very weak. 
I have no anxiety about anything ; my nurses 
are my friends ; they have good judgment, and 
will do all that is necessary. I feel that I am 
in the hands of my Heavenly Father; His 
arms are round about me and underneath, and 
I can truly say, ' Not my will, but Thine, O 
Father, be done.' " 

On being asked if she had any messages for 
her friends, she said : " None except my desire 
that they love one another and do right. My 
love flows to all." 

She retained her consciousness until near the 
end, when she settled into a deep and quiet 
sleep. Her purified spirit was thus liberated 
from its mortal tenement, leaving the convic- 
tion with survivors that her work was " fin- 
ished," and that she was received into one of 
the "mansions prepared" for the righteous.] 

160 Memoir of 

" WESTBURY, 11, 21, '58. 

" I observe in thy letter a request that I 
should reply soon after its reception. Were 
it not for a disposition to procrastinate, I 
should be much gratified to hold a correspond- 
ence with thee ; however, I will try to write 
when I have anything that seems worth saying, 
for the reception of a letter is next to seeing a 

" Thy letter was interesting and acceptable. 
I think thy friend judged correctly of the author 
thou wast reading, whom he thought skeptical 
on the subject of religion or Christianity. 

" Some years ago I read Guizot on the prog- 
ress of civilization in France, from the fall of 
the Roman Empire to the French Revolution. 
I was much pleased with the sentiment, that 
Christianity had promoted civilization much 
more than all other causes he had enumerated ; 
and I think he defined civilization to be the 
development of the mental or intellectual facul- 
ties. This, of course, would change the manners 
and habits of savage life to the refined manners 

Rachel Hicks. 161 

of the Christian. And I see too that F. Guizot 
(perhaps the same writer) says that in the time 
of Charlemagne, the intellectual state of Ireland 
and England was superior to that of the conti- 
nent ; letters and schools prospered there more 
than anywhere else. 

" The principal reason that he assigns for this , 
is that Christianity was not interrupted by in- 
vasion, etc., etc. If these sentiments are cor- 
rect and who but the skeptic will deny it ? 
can we wonder that Jesus Christ was sent into 
the world 'to bear witness unto the Truth?' 
to promulgate those principles and doctrines, 
which if mankind would live in and practice, 
would not only redeem the soul and prepare it 
for a glorious eternity, but would also expand 
the intellectual faculties, refine the manners, 
and bring all matters in civil life into perfect 
order. The human family would then enjoy 
the greatest amount of happiness possible to 
be enjoyed in this world. These being unde- 
niable truths, is it cause of wonder that the 
apostles and devoted Christians in various ages 
have been willing to suffer martyrdom for their 
adherence and testimony to the principles of 

1 62 Memoir of 

the Christian religion ? Or is it strange that 
men and women now are made willing to be 
accounted ' fools for Christ's sake/ in bearing 
testimony to the same eternal principles their 
hearts being filled with love to God and love 
to man ? 

" Looking as we may to those nations who 
profess, and in some measure live in accordance 
with the principles of the Christian religion, we 
see the advancement they have made in the 
arts and sciences and in a comfortable mode 
of living ; far beyond those who have not the 
Scriptures or the knowledge of the advent of 
Christ and the doctrines He taught. And my 
belief is, if this pure and holy religion declines 
and wanes away, these nations will relapse into 
a state of barbarism, and the inhabitants even 
of this great confederacy will be scattered in 
predatory bands. The fulfilling of the first two 
and greatest commandments would harmonize 
and cement together the numerous and rapidly 
increasing members of this vast republic, and 
our future history would prove the truth of the 
saying, ' United we stand.' 

" It is therefore with sorrow that I hear so 

Rachel Hicks. 163 

much of sectional prejudice growing strong 
in our midst, and also so much of what may 
be termed political slander of political par- 
ties against each other, and also against men 
filling the highest offices in the government ; 
for instance, our president and the governor of 
our state. It is enough to deter good men 
from accepting these offices. I may not ap- 
prove of all their acts, but the true Christian 
spirit would lead me to believe that they are en- 
deavoring to do the best they can under all the 
circumstances that surround them ; and the of- 
fice they fill ought to be respected by a law- 
loving and law-abiding people. 

" ' Thou shalt not speak evil of the ruler of 
thy people,' was the Christian exhortation in an 
early age of Christianity, and it is as binding 
upon us now, as it was upon those to whom it 
was spoken. Submission to the ' powers that be ' 
was also taught by Christian teachers. Sub- 
mit actively when we can, and when for con- 
science' sake we cannot, patiently to suffer the 
penalty is a Christian duty. In this way the 
laws of the land ought to be respected. You 
who address young men have an opportunity of 

164 Memoir of 

instilling in their minds the great principle of the 
stability and durability of a Christian republic, 
"I agree with thee in thinking Hugh Miller 
quite too speculative ; some parts of his book I 
was much gratified with, but it was picking 
gems out of rubbish, which may be said of 
many books in this day. 

" Very respectfully thy friend, 


" WESTBURY, i2th mo., ;th, 1858. 

" By a letter received from our mutual friend, 
I am informed that the subject which now 
weighs heavily on the mind of thy friend Rachel 
Hicks, has been laid before thee, and that thou 
knowest that I am required to be resigned to 
the most humiliating and arduous of all relig- 
ious concerns ; and if friends permit, may enter 
upon it. 

" As some of my former companions have 
passed from works to reward, and others fail 
from infirmity of the body, I have looked 
around for an armor-bearer, so desirable and 
indispensable ; one who is united with me in 

Rachel Hicks. 165 

feeling and sentiment, and concerned to bear 
the various testimonies of our society. 

" When my long tried and faithful friend who 
is to accompany me in the early part of the 
journey leaves me which she feels that she 
must do in a short time I have looked to 
thee, my younger and beloved friend, to go 
with me. I remember how serviceable and 
animating were thy words of counsel and en- 
couragement at a late Yearly Meeting, when 
my mind was sinking under depression amount- 
ing almost to despair, because it seemed to me 
that standard-bearers were fainting, and that 
those whose feet were firmly fixed on the im- 
mutable foundation were few. An unprofitable 
discouragement was given way to on my part, 
but thou wast qualified to apply the necessary 
remedy. I know that we ought not to rely too 
much on outward instruments, and yet in ten- 
der mercy and loving-kindness the Head of the 
Church anoints these as helpers; to encourage, 
counsel, caution and reprove when necessary, 
and the servant who is really humble will re- 
ceive any of these as a kindness. I shall there- 
fore desire thee to watch over me, and deal 

1 66 Memoir of 

honestly with me, for ministers are oft weak, 
and ever liable to fall away if off their guard. 

" I need not tell thee of the exercises and 
conflicts with the flesh which is weak ere a 
resignation full and entire was obtained, in the 
prospect of a labor so long and arduous in the 
present state of our Society; when one seems 
to be of Paul, others of Apollos and Cephas or 
of Christ. But if I am favored to walk in the 
path pointed out for me, I cannot join any of 
these. The eye of the mind must be continu- 
ally turned to the Divine Master, and whatsoever 
He bids, that must I do. Then the reward will 
be peace, though man may rise up in judgment 
and condemn. Peace of mind is all we can 
look for in this day, and it is enough, and worth 
all we can suffer in time. Yet the creature is 
ready to inquire, What will it all avail ? for 
' Who will believe our report or to whom will 
the arm of the Lord be revealed ' by our preach- 
ing ? If, as in former days, many were con- 
vinced, and drawn to unite in bearing the 
testimonies of Truth to the world, there would 
seem to be some encouragement to expose 
ourselves to the multitude that gather to ' hear 

Rachel Hicks. 167 

what the Spirit saith unto the Churches.' But 
since we now see nothing of this ; but, on the 
contrary, a scattering from the foundation of 
the true Church, of which Christ is the Head, 
we must labor for the saving of our own 

" Therefore wilt thou join me for as long a 
time as is felt right to thee ? 

" Thy affectionate 


" NEW YORK, ist mo., 23d, 1859. 

" Long have I been remiss in writing to 
you, for oft has my mind been with you (espe- 
cially since the visit we made you) in sympathy, 
and desires for your preservation and encour- 
agement in the right way the strait and 
narrow way which leads to life eternal. In this 
way I believe you desire to walk, so that in the 
end you may receive the crown of peace. 

" But many discouragements arise before you 
as regards outward helps, and the condition of 
our poor society peeled and stripped as we 
are of outward standard-bearers. One after an- 

1 68 Memoir of 

other of these faithful devoted servants passes 
away from works to rewards, and surely some of 
you, who love the Truth above all things, and 
who I fear from diffidence have heretofore with- 
held more than you ought, must come up to the 
work of the Lord against the mighty torrent 
that is rolling and tossing against His holy 
cause of righteousness in the earth. 

" Oh ! my dear sisters, oft has a prayer risen 
from my heart to Him who alone can save, 
that you may arise from too much discourage- 
ment, and come to the Divine Master with the 
wise resolution, 'Let others do as they may, 
as for me and my house, we will serve the 
Lord.' I believe that your husbands are 
united with you in spirit, and that the lan- 
guage in your little band often is, ' Come 
brother, come sister, let us go up to the moun- 
tain of the Lord, to the house of the God of 
Jacob, and He will teach us of His ways, and 
we will walk in His paths, and great will be 
our peace.' Whatever He bids you do, that 
do, that your own souls may be saved. This 
seems to be all that is worth living for in 
this day of great declension in our once highly 

Rachel Hicks. 169 

favored society. I feel this deeply, notwith- 
standing so much of my time is passed in going 
t o and fro in the earth, and spending my strength 
in inviting others to come to the ' one thing 
needful,' that of waiting at the Master's feet 
to know His will, and then to do it faithfully. 
* * ' Follow thou me,' is the language of our 
Divine Master now in the secret of the soul, as 
it was outwardly to the disciples formerly ; and 
in mercy we have at times the assurance that all 
will be well with the immortal soul, if obedi- 
ence keeps pace with knowledge, and that is 

" How encouraging to a life of dedication was 
the deathbed and closing scene of our mut- 
ually dear friend Caroline Willets. When I 
had in prospect a family visit to friends in 
the city of Philadelphia, she entered into 
deep sympathy and feeling with me, and felt 
bound in spirit as a religious duty to go with 
me. Although I told her I feared for her health 
which had not been as good the last year as 
formerly she several times said, ' I will stay 
with thee about two weeks ; that is as long as 
I feel it will be best.' Dear creature ! she 

170 Memoir of 

went and staid her two weeks, and at the ex- 
piration of that time, her lifeless remains were 
brought to her home may I not say amidst a 
host of mourners? for it seemed as if both 
cities were clad in mourning. 

" What greater outward evidence of the all- 
sufficiency of the principles we profess can we 
have, than to behold one like her, when pros- 
trated upon the bed of sickness and death, 
peaceful and calm, filled with love to all, 
patient and resigned, with no anxiety and no 
fear of death? 'I have nothing to do,' she 
once said to me (and this was when we were 
somewhat encouraged) ; ' my day's work has 
been done in the daytime, but giving up my 
husband is like separating joint from joint.' 
This remark was evidence to my mind that she 
was sensible that the final separation was near 
at hand. 

" * * * We went to Philadelphia 
on the 2 1st of I2th mo., and the following 
three days we attended the three Monthly 
Meetings in that city, and visited seventeen 
families. Through all she was as cheerful as 
usual, and enjoyed the company of her friends. 

Rachel Hicks. 171 

We did not discover any change in her until 
the last evening, at the close of the last visit 
but one, which we had to make. I proposed 
her going directly to our lodgings, which she 
did. At ten o'clock I found her with a high 
fever, and much prostrated. Her anxious hus- 
band hoped she would rest well, and be able 
to return home with him the next morning; 
but instead of this, she failed steadily until the 
4th of 1st month, when in the midst of her 
friends she passed away. A large circle gath- 
ered around her bed as they saw -the end 
approaching, and we sat in solemn silence, as 
without a sigh, a groan, or the movement of 
a muscle of her face, she ceased to breathe. 
Still in silence profound we sat, until prayer 
for resigned hearts, and praise for the release 
of the redeemed spirit was vocally uttered. 

" The next day we came with the remains to 
New York, and on the 7th inst. her funeral took 
place, when a large and solemn meeting was 
held at Hester Street meeting-house. I was not 
able to attend not being well ; but I heard a 
number say that living testimonies were borne 
by David H. Barnes, Mary L. Caley, John 

ij2 Memoir of 

Hunt, Richard Cromwell, and lastly supplica- 
tion by John D. Wright. 

" She had long been devoted to her Divine 
Master in doing what she believed He required 
of her, and she died in the field of labor. 

" Our home in Philadelphia was at the house 
of our kind-hearted friend Samuel Caley. He, 
his wife Mary' L. Caley, and their three 
daughters entertained us, and nursed the dear 
sick one with all the tenderness that one of 
themselves would have received had they been 
ill. One morning dear Caroline said to me, 
when they were doing all they could for her, 
' They seem like ministering angels round 
my bed.' Thus you see, that as she had dear- 
ly loved her friends in her life she died in their 

' ' Oh ! is it not a boon thus to die the death 
of the righteous? Let us, dear friends, one and 
all, gird up the loins of our minds in watchful- 
ness and prayer, and do all that our Father in 
Heaven requires. 

" I expect to return to the arduous work I 
believe my Good Master has appointed, but 
oh ! how I shall miss my long-tried and faith- 

Rachel Hicks. 173 

ful armor-bearer ! But my time will soon come. 
I have only to wait a little longer, when it will 
be said : ' She, too, is gone.' 

" From the love which I know you felt for 
her, I thought some account of her close would 
be acceptable. 

"Please write to your affectionate 


"4th mo., i /th, 1859. 

" Often, very often, since we parted, have I 
visited you in spirit, with a desire to give you 
a written testimonial of my grateful and affec- 
tionate remembranceof your kind attentions to 
one of the least of the household of faith, when 
travailing under a heavyweight of exercise. 

" Although I sensibly felt before leaving my 
home that there were in those three Monthly 
Meetings a hidden travailing seed, owned and 
preserved by the Head of the Church, yet I 
had doubts about any being prepared to open 
their hearts and homes to receive one who 
felt herself so unworthy a necessary dispen- 
sation for me to pass through. 

" I felt, also, that there were ' giants in the 

174 Memoir of 

land ; ' but, having faith in the Divine prom- 
ise, ' I will be with thee,' the fear of these was 
taken away. And when I saw the openness of 
many to prepare for moving in a concern so 
arduous, I was humbled, and a tear of grati- 
tude started to the eye. There is a ' feeling 
that has no fellow,' nor is there language to 
express to another what is felt ; therefore, I 

cannot convey to thee, dear , a full sense 

of the encouragement and strength which I ex- 
perienced by thy uniting in the concern, as I 
believe in the fellowship of the Gospel. 

"And while I dare not give flattering titles 
unto man for in so doing my Master would 
take away my peace I may say in truth that 

I think a right good elder. Now, in my 

quiet retirement, I look back with satisfaction 
that I felt it right to take his advice in attend- 
ing the three Monthly Meetings, and report- 
ing the service accomplished. Although a 
little trying to the creature, I think it was fin- 
ishing up the work in the order of Truth ; and 
the language often arises, ' Peace be to thee 
and to thy helpers.' My aspiration is that the 
peace which the world can neither give nor take 

Rachel Hicks. 175 

away may rest upon you. There are seasons 
when we sensibly realize that the humble ser- 
vant ' has meat to eat that the world knows not 
of,' a fellowship with the Father, with the Son, 
and one with another which satisfies the im- 
mortal soul. Blessed be His name, saith my 
spirit, for His goodness and loving-kindness to 
the workmanship of His hands ! 

" I have said that I oft felt a desire to write 
to you, but it is not a light matter to put the 
pen to paper and allow the thoughts to guide 
it, especially as regards our poor Society, 
broken up into parties as it is. 


" ' Except the Lord build the house, they la- 
bor in vain who build it.' Our faith, trust and 
confidence must be in Him, and in simple obe- 
dience to His commands. Then, our works and 
the spirit with which we will be clothed, will 
tend to ' establish us in that holy faith which 
works by love to the purifying of the heart,' 
leading into perfect order and out of all ex- 

"When I visit you mentally, I behold, dear 
, not so anxious about what others are do- 

176 Memoir of 

ing as careful to perform her own duties. And 
cheerfully looking on the best side, and 
pointing out bright spots to encourage the 
mourners in Zion, and the heavy hearted in 
Jerusalem. But, notwithstanding this, does 
he not have his seasons of depression, when 
he desires to ' hide himself in the clefts of the 
rock and the secret places of the stairs ? ' If he 
have, it is no more than the righteous in all 
ages have had to feel, and I believe it is in the 
ordering of Infinite Wisdom for our good. 

" Continual sunshine and gentle zephyrs in 
the outward world would not produce a healthy 
atmosphere for animal or vegetable life. It 
is just so in a spiritual sense. Continual 
abounding in heavenly enjoyment would tend 
to make us relax our efforts to abide in our 
only safe state that of watchfulness and 
prayer, under a humiliating sense of our own 
insufficiency for any good word or work. 

" As a sense of danger induces us to seek a 
shelter from storms and tempests outwardly, 
so conflicts with human nature and a seeming 
desertion of Divine aid draw us more intently 
to ask Him who has promised, ' Seek and ye 

Rachel Hicks. 177 

shall find; knock and it shall be opened unto 
you.' Thus He redeems and purifies the soul, 
for it remains to be a truth : 'As gold is tried 
in the fire,' so are they who are accepted of 
God in the furnace of affliction. Therefore 
we have more cause to rejoice than to repine 
when we are left to feel our own weakness. 
" Your affectionate friend, 


" WESTBURY, 4th mo., 26th, 1862. 

" Thy letter was to my feelings as ' deep call- 
ing unto deep.' It is a strength and a consolation 
to receive evidence of unity in exercise and con- 
cern for the welfare of our Zion. 

" The query often arises, Why do we feel this 
strong desire for the preservation of our So- 
ciety? The reply is, As we dwell in Him who 
is Love, our hearts are filled with that love 
which extends not only to the present but to 
all future generations. We do know that God 
is unchangeable, and that the means of salva- 
tion are the same that they ever were, and that 

178 Memoir of 

they will remain to be the seed of the King- 
dom of Heaven for all mankind for all time to 
come. Therefore we desire, next to the eternal 
happiness of our own souls, that we as a united 
people may transmit to generations yet to 
come our testimony to the all-sufficiency of 
the gift of the Holy Spirit to work in us, to 
will and to do, every good word and work, as 
we are obedient to its teachings. 

" Oh ! then, how we are bowed down in 
spirit, mourning on our way because there 
seems not strength and holy zeal enough in the 
Society in the present day to put down that 
kind of ministry which tends to lay waste this 
great testimony ; and also a belief that the 
grace of God alone can qualify for the work of 
the ministry, and every efficient labor for that 
reformation so much desired. Repeatedly do 
we have to hear that ' the cultivation of the 
mental powers is sufficient qualification, and 
that we ought to speak to interest the young, 
that there is no need for all the conflict 
and concern, which some say is necessary 
to prepare for the right exercise of the min- 
istry if something rises in the mind rise and 

Rachel Hicks. 179 

say it, etc., etc/ The language of my 
spirit is, ' Oh ! my soul, come not thou into 
their secret ; unto their assembly, mine honor 
be not thou united.' With thee I can say, 
' May the sons of Levi be refined, for there is 
need.' A day of retribution has come upon the 
nation, I most surely believe; for the sins of 
the people are many and great. May they 
learn righteousness when the judgments of the 
Most High are in the earth ! Of a truth, we 
cannot see the end of this awful conflict, any 
further than that suffering and mourning will 
be our portion. Many mothers, wives, etc., go 
mourning for their sons and relatives ' because 
they are not ; ' and the Society of Friends will 
not escape, for great is our responsibility. We 
have known the Truth, we (or most of us) have 
known it, but many have not kept to the sim- 
plicity of it; but desiring to imitate those 
around us, we have gone out after their vain 
fashions and doings, and now their doctrines 
are being imbibed. We must teach, but we 
need not take such high ground as that of be- 
ing sent by the Head of the Church ; hence 
this busy, active spirit I see and feel so much 

180 Memoir of 

of it, that it makes hard work to move in any 
apprehended duty, fearing that I too may be 

" My mind is and has been much with 
the wrestling seed amongst you ; but I think 
now my good Master will excuse me from at- 
tending your Yearly Meeting. My faith is, 
that the rightly concerned will be supported ; 
a remnant will stand firm on the ' Rock of 
Ages,' against which storms and tempests will 
beat in vain, as they look to Him who is able 
to work miracles now as formerly for those who 
keep the faith. We have reason to believe 
that there are some among you and us who are 
under the preparing hand for usefulness in 
the Church, if they are not turned aside from 
the strait and narrow way by unauthorized 
counselors, who seem to think they have 
found an easier way than by the Cross of 

" I rejoice that thy brother is dedicating him- 
self, his time, his talents and acquirements to 
the service of his Divine Master ; as he keeps 
low and humble, his influence for good will be 
very great. I hope he will not turn from any 

Rachel Hicks. 181 

required duty because of those whose efforts 
tend to lay waste. 

" I feel for and with thee in thy various 
weighty exercises, for thy own sake and for the 
well-being of those who are perhaps leaning 
upon thee. That thou, and all concerned, may 
be directed by that wisdom which is from above 
and is profitable to direct in all things is my 
fervent desire, 

Much credit is due to you for your delibera- 
tion. But who is to take thy place as clerk ? I 
cannot see. I, too, begin to look for a release 
myself. I am resigned to my friends, but have 
not felt easy to ask to be excused from the ser- 
vice. I believe no other consideration has bound 
thee and me to the work but a love for the Truth, 
and a strong desire for the maintenance of our 
testimonies and discipline which we believe orig- 
inated in the wisdom of our Father in Heaven. 

" I should dearly love to see thee, and 
converse with thee on various subjects. Per- 
haps the Master will send thee to our Year- 
ly Meeting, we are so stripped of faithful 
standard-bearers. But I trust we are already 
in some measure driven to the feet of our 

1 82 Memoir of 

Lord and Master, who alone can supply the 
void made in the removal by death of so many ; 
none missed so much in every way as dear 

; but the end draweth nigh, and if 

we can say ' I have finished the work which 

thou gavest me to do,' then through mercy 

we shall be permitted to enter into eternal rest. 

" Affectionately, 


" WESTBURY, 6th mo., 28th, 1863. 

" I was comforted in receiving your letter, 
as I was in meeting and becoming acquainted 
with you in New York, also your brother and 
sister. When mingling together there, I had 
often to reflect upon and feel the excellency 
and enjoyment there is realized in this heaven- 
ly relationship brethren in Christ He being 
our Master. 

" When you first arrived, strangers and unex- 
pected, I said in my heart ' What kind of 
Friends are these ? ' Are they tinctured with 
libertinism, or are they of the right cast ? ' 
Very soon my doubts were removed, and were 

Rachel Hicks. 183 

succeeded by a unity of spirit and gospel fellow- 
ship that the world knows not of. This is a 
remarkable feature in the experience and char- 
acter of Friends. Those whose greatest con- 
cern is to abide in Christ, the true and living 
Vine, and are nourished by the same divine life, 
meet and greet each other in the ' unity of the 
spirit ' and ' the bond of peace.' This was my 
first impression in taking you by the hand ; but 
on a second thought, the forementioned queries 
arose ; but my doubts soon being removed I look 
upon it as a remarkable evidence that there is 
'a feeling that has no fellow.' In this I did wish, 
when you were about leaving, that we could 
sit in silence a short time together ; as dear 
Margaret Brown once said, ' It sweetens the 
parting,' but no way opened for it. I had an 
idea that some, if not all of you, felt as I did, 
but a diffidence in us all kept us from making 
an effort for it. In former times such oppor- 
tunities were frequent, and were seasons of in- 
struction, comfort and encouragement. I fear 
now, too many amongst us are not as willing 
at times to cease from social converse, as would 
tend to our spiritual strength. 

184 Memoir of 

" Oflatter years the state of our Society has 
looked discouraging, as to its continuation. 
Many of its burden-bearers have been removed 
from works to rewards, and where are there 
any devoted enough to fill their places ? In 
my last two visits to your Yearly Meeting, I 
felt encouraged in the belief that there was an 
increase of ballast in the ship that has been 
tossed on the waves of human wisdom and 
contrivance ; and if there is an abiding under 
the weight of exercise that tends to draw our 
attention and our hope only to Omnipotence, 
who alone can say 'Peace, be still,' those things 
which now cause unsettlement will ere long pass 
away, and Truth will reign triumphant over all. 

" I travail in spirit, dear friends, for your en- 
couragement to do your own work, now in 
the daytime ; whatever your Divine Master 
bids you do, that do, and nothing more. If 
I am not mistaken, you will be called to 
labor more extensively in the Lord's vine- 
yard than heretofore. If so, do not with- 
hold full and entire obedience ; for when 
He puts forth His own, He goes before and 
makes a way, and is a present helper in the 

Rachel Hicks. 185 

needful time. You may have to encourage 
others, whose hands are ready to hang down. 
Several friends told me after your last 
Yearly Meeting that they were entirely dis- 
couraged ; dear was one ; if you see 

her please give her my love, and tell her she 
must do her own work to save her own soul, 
let others do as they may. I believe the lan- 
guage of the Spirit to her and to us all is, 
' What is that to thee ? Follow thou me.' 

" You are all much younger than she who now 
addresses you, and may have much to do in sav- 
ing the ' Ark ' of the testimony from the hands 
of the ' Philistines ; ' or in other words, to 
maintain our testimonies, especially that to the 
sufficiency of the Divine Spirit in man to lead 
into all Truth. There are those who, although 
they have heard with the outward ear, seem 
not to know that there is a Holy Spirit in man, 
and who would lead others also to believe that 
reason is a sufficient guide to reformation. 
These have caused much exercise of mind to 
many who see no other way to the kingdom of 
Heaven than by the daily cross; or. to reform 
the errors of mankind than to wait for qualifica- 

1 86 Memoir of 

tion and command from Him who ' will not give 
His glory to another nor His praise to graven 

" In our own Yearly Meeting, it is won- 
derful to see how gradually those who were 
once full of words have passed out of sight. 
Several meetings have gone down, and others 
are very small, but a few are holding out in 
faithfulness, and my prayer oft is to the Father 
to send forth other laborers, but whether ' the 
fields are white already to harvest,' I cannot 
tell. It may be, that a day of trouble may 
bring us to the Master's feet. 

" I am glad that your little band feel satisfied 
with your visit to New York. Sometimes in 
looking back, I feel that there was not all the 
attention paid to you that there should have 
been ; if so, I think it was not for want of love 
and good will. Perhaps the next time you 
will come to Long Island to visit Friends here. 
I live in an old mansion in which many good 
Friends have been entertained. To receive you 
all would afford great satisfaction to your sin- 
cere and attached friend, 


Rachel Hicks. 187 

"WESTBURY, 4th mo., 29th, 1864. 


" I look forward to our Yearly Meeting, and 
I have no doubt that thou dost to yours with a 
weight of exercise not easily described. Many 
of the burden-bearers have passed away, and 
their places seem vacant ; yet there must be 
some living members of the Church militant still 
left, or growing up among us, although not seen 
by the outward eye, for in many of our meetings 
the divine life is felt to hover over us and cover 
us as a mantle. 

" We thought our Quarterly Meeting last 
week was a favored season ; more so than 
we would have expected from the low state 
of our poor Society. We had no strangers 
with us, but evidence was given that a living 
gospel ministry is still vouchsafed to us. My 
faith is strong that if we were all in humility 
sitting at the feet of our Divine Master, and 
looking to Him for help, He would deliver us 
from the unsound and lifeless preaching that is 
now doing so much harm amongst us ; in some 

o o 

instances, driving the young to a hireling and 
mercenary priesthood. 

1 88 Memoir of 

" Like thee, I have been from home but 
little for the past two years. What the 
coming summer and autumn may bring forth 
I do not know, but if called to labor I think it 
will be in our own Yearly Meeting. Many of 
the meetings composing it are very small ; ac- 
cording to present prospect, some of them will 
ere long go entirely down. What a cause of re- 
gret that this Society should, like the primitive 
church, after two centuries, fall away to a small 
remnant, which may for a season be permitted 
to hide itself in the wilderness of this world, and 
then again, through suffering outwardly, as 
well as inwardly, come out and stand before the 
world, bearing the same important testimonies 
this people so nobly bore in the beginning. 

" I might say much on this subject, but must 
now leave it. Thy affectionate 


" WESTBURY, i2th mo., 26th, 1864. 

" Absence from home for several weeks since 
I saw thee, and an abiding sense of my inca- 
pacity to portray my views of the subject on 

Rachel Hicks. 189 

which thou requested me to write, is the apol- 
ogy for this long seeming neglect. I hope thou 
wilt excuse me and any error I may make in 
this attempt. 

" I find there are some who speak of man as 
a twofold being, body and soul the reason- 
ing powers belonging to the body. I would not 
enter into controversy with these, as I do not 
consider it of importance which view we take, if 
in all things we devote ourselves to do the will of 
our Creator, as manifested in the secret of our 
own souls. 

" The apostle, in addressing the Thessalo- 
nians, says : ' I pray God your whole spirit 
and soul and body be preserved blameless/ etc., 
etc. I cannot but unite in this threefold view 
of this wonderful creature man. ' How pass- 
ing wonder He who made him such ! ' An 
animal body made of the dust of the earth, sup- 
ported for a season by that which springs out 
of the earth. For the benefit, comfort and con- 
venience of these earthly bodies man is en- 
dowed with intellectual powers, which we call 
' reason ;' also, with an immortal soul, which is 
to live through a never-ending eternity. To 

i go Memoir of 

govern this threefold being, and to enable it to 
move in the sphere He designed, so as to 
answer the end of creation which is to glorify 
the Creator in this world, and be glorified with 
Him in the world to come He the beneficent, 
omniscient Being, by the overshadowing of His 
power and presence, brought forth a measure 
of His own spirit in the soul of man, which is 
His son, Christ within, the hope of glory, 
Christ the Saviour to all who believe and are 
obedient to His teachings. 

" This Divine principle, by which the Society 
of Friends has from the beginning professed to 
be guided, is spoken of in Scripture by different 
names. It is called ' Light,' because it enlight- 
ens the understanding, the intellectual powers 
of the mind, giving man to see what is good 
and what is evil ; what is right and what is 
wrong for him to do ; and if he cling to the 
spirit of Truth, it leads into all truth, and pre- 
serves from all error. Thus, ' spirit, soul and 
body are preserved blameless.' 

"Instead of indulging the propensities of hu- 
man nature beyond the limits set by this Divine 
Monitor, the obedient soul takes up the cross 

Rachel Hicks. 191 

daily, so as in all things to say, ' Thy will be 
done, oh, God! and not mine.' These in their 
daily deportment show forth the Christian 
virtues, meekness, temperance, patience and 
brotherly kindness, breathing in spirit, ' Glory 
to God in the highest ! and on earth peace, 
good will toward men ;' and when the cry shall 
be, ' Behold, the bridegroom cometh ; go ye 
out to meet him,' these are ready to enter into 
eternal rest and peace. 

" Thus our beneficent Creator has given man- 
kind the means of preservation from temptation 
to err, so that we be not tempted above what 
we are able to bear or resist. In His inscruta- 
ble wisdom He has constituted man a free 
agent, giving him the poAver of choice, whether 
he will do the will of his Creator, and thus 
secure happiness here and eternal happiness 
hereafter, or whether he will indulge his natu- 
ral propensities in seeking unrestrained enjoy- 
ment in the pleasures of this lower world, 
bringing on himself the sad consequences of 
condemnation of conscience, and separation 
from the Divine harmony. 

"The propensities of human nature thus be- 

192 Memoir of 

coming evil, sin produces its legitimate fruits 
avarice, injustice, unmercifulness, oppression, 
war, and bloodshed. Even professed Chris- 
tians are arrayed against each other in mortal 
combat, clothing a nation in mourning and 
woe. May it not be said of our once highly 
favored nation, ' Thine own wickedness shall 
correct thee, and thy backslidings shall reprove 
thee ; know, therefore, and see that it is an evil 
thing and bitter, that thou hast forsaken the 
Lord thy God, and that my fear is not in thee.' 

" Some have been ready to say that it would 
have been better for man had he been so con- 
stituted that he could not sin and bring upon 
himself eternal separation from the Divine 
harmony, and be also the cause of so much 
suffering in the world. But would man be 
happy without freedom of choice ? Nay, verily ! 

" My dear young friend, if this does not sat- 
isfy thee please write and tell me so, and ask 
any question thee feels inclined to. In genuine 
friendship, which I believe we mutually feel for 
each other, there is freedom. 

"Thy affectionate friend, 


Rachel Hicks. 193 

" WESTBURV, 2d mo., i4th, 1865. 

" Thy kind and interesting letter was duly 
received and read with much satisfaction ; also 
with a little mortification at my mistake in 
supposing from thy youthful appearance that 
thou wast unmarried. Please excuse me, on 
the score of old age and the lack of the quick 
perceptions of youth. I will now view thee as 
the wife and the mother dignified appella- 
tions and stations of great and solemn respon- 
sibility. To ' train up a child in the way he 
should go ' is an important duty. If the 
mother especially, be concerned in all things 
to do the will of her Heavenly Father, she 
will, by her example and precept, fully dis- 
charge all her various duties to her children ; 
and even should some of them wander far and 
wide, the language concerning her will be, 'Let 
her alone ;' ' she has done what she could.' I 
rejoiced to perceive that thou feelest the 
weight of the duties of a mother, because 
where we feel our own insufficiency, we may 
look to that source and fountain of strength 
that never fails and ask wisdom of Him who 

194 Memoir of 

1 giveth to all men liberally and upbraideth 

" I noticed thy remarks on reading the 
Scriptures. I do not wonder that there are 
seasons when to us they are as a sealed book ; 
there are many passages we do not understand ; 
but is that strange, when we consider that they 
were written a very long time ago, in another 
language, and the learned tell us, that transla- 
tors and copyists have changed many passages ? 
But as the wise Robert Barclay says, ' None of 
these changes affect or weaken the great doc- 
trines of the Christian religion.' 

"Abundant testimony is recorded by holy 
men of old, to the existence of the one true 
and living God, who created all things, and 
that He reveals His will to man immediately 
by His own Spirit in the soul ; and if we read 
the Scriptures with our minds turned to Him, 
He will, in His own time, open to us all that 
is necessary for us to know ; and if many sen- 
tences are ambiguous, no doubt translators 
and copyists have made them so. This I 
think should be evidence to all professing 
Christians that they are not the ' Word of 

Rachel Hicks. 195 

God,' and that they are not our only rule of 
faith and practice, but a secondary means of 
help and instruction of great value. 

"Although many have set them above what 
they were designed to be, there is a necessity for 
us in this day to guard against any influence that 
would set them below what they were designed 
to be, or to underestimate their intrinsic excel- 
lence and usefulness. Most especially the ex- 
ample and precepts of the Holy Jesus we are 
bound to appreciate and be thankful for. The 
philosopher and reasoner may write and labor 
to lay waste all these, yet my consolation is 
they will stand through all coming time, and 
the humble and devoted soul will read and feel 
that these sayings are true, and that they ema- 
nated from Him who is love, wisdom and 
power. What can we teach little children bet- 
ter than to love God above all, and to do unto 
others in all things as they would others should 
do unto them? The subject is inexhaustible 
but I must conclude. In much love to thee 
and thy family, 

" Thy friend, 


196 Memoir of 

" WESTBURY, 3d mo., i2th, 1865. 

" I wish thou wast here that I might talk 
with thee and pour out my feelings to thee, 
because I believe thy sympathy would flow. 
The weight grows more and more heavy ; at 
times it seems greater than I can bear, and my 
dear friends, to whom I used to pour out my 
burdens, have nearly all passed away. Why 
am I left to mourn my many losses, and to 
oppress the few that remain with more than 
their share. 

" Please excuse me, dear friend, I write thus 
for relief. I do not always feel so weak, but 
human nature pleads, ' How can it be that one 
so old should be required to undertake a long 
and arduous journey ? ' Am I mistaken ? If I 
am, I think our Monthly Meeting will feel it 
and take the load on themselves, when I lay 
the concern before them, which I dare not 
avoid, if when the time comes, I feel as I now 
do. As I have prayed to my Heavenly Father 
to provide helpers and armor-bearers, and as 
I apprehend that thou hast had some present- 
iment of this concern, I cannot but feel a 

Rachel Hicks. 197 

hope that my prayers have been heard and 
granted. I believe I shall have to ask for a 
Minute to attend the Yearly Meeting of Phila- 
delphia and the meetings composing it. * * * 
" I am sorry for thy husband. I think he 
has been very good to let thee go as much as 
he has ; but most likely this is my last lengthy 
visit, and it may be when my mind attains a 
full resignation, the will may be taken for the 
deed. I know that our Father in Heaven is 
good, that His tender mercy is over all His 
works, and that it endureth forever. Neither 
is He a hard Master, requiring duties He does 
not give ability to perform, or sacrifices He 
does not abundantly reward. So, tell thy hus- 
band his reward is sure ; and I have faith that 
if he gives up his wife for a season, she will be 
returned to him in safety. 

" I remain thine, 


"8th mo., 20th, 1865. 

" We are now at John Brownell's, not far 
from Penn's Grove Meeting-house, and remem- 

198 Memoir of 

bering your request that I should inform you 
once in a while of our whereabouts, etc., and 
having a little leisure this forenoon, I have 
taken the pen to tell you that after attending 
Fishing Creek Half Year's Meeting and those 
composing it, finding Friends so busy in hay 
and harvest and hands to help scarce, we con- 
cluded it best for us to go home and wait till 
they got through. So we took Stroudsburg 
Meeting on our way to New York, and visited 
- in her beautiful mountain home, where 
she seems to preside as a queen beloved and 
respected by all. We hear she has obtained a 
Minute to attend Baltimore Yearly Meeting, 
and as it is indorsed by the Quarterly Meeting, 
we suppose she intends also to visit some if 
not all the meetings composing it. 

" But to return to our history. After remain- 
ing at home about four weeks attending our re- 
spective Quarterly Meetings, on the 5th inst. 
we left home again, and went to Wilmington 
(about 150 miles). Next day we attended 
Wilmington and Stanton meetings, and since 
then have been at two meetings per day, except 
second and seventh days, when the friends who 

Rachel Hicks. 199 

laid them out said, ' The women must wash 
and bake.' So we try not to interfere unnec- 
essarily with the lawful concerns of this life, 
although that which is to come is of so much 
more importance. If no occurrence prevents 
our attending Honesville this afternoon and 
Fallowfield and Doerun to-morrow, we shall 
have visited all the meetings in Concord and 
Western Quarters, and then expect to go 
into Cain Quarter. If we get through these 
in season we may attend Buck's Quarter. 

"We hear that Ann A.Townsend and Phebe 
W. Foulke and David Foulke expect to attend 
Ohio Yearly Meeting, so we see the poor pil- 
grims are going to and fro in the earth. I 
hope the others do not feel as I often do when 
the query arises, ' Of what avail is all this 
labor in this day of declension ? ' 

"As in yours, so in our own Yearly Meeting, 
many are small, or attended generally by very 
few ; when in most, if not in all places^ if 
all the members would go under religious 
concern, they would undoubtedly have good 
respectable meetings as the great Head of 
the Church will ever be with those who 

2OO Memoir of 

gather in His name. But as the old are passing 
away, and many who are left a little longer 
must soon follow ; and as they tell us the young 
in many places with but few exceptions, do 
not feel interest enough to go, unless there is 
some remarkable revival, will not many meet- 
ing 5 g down ? But, dear friends, let us not be 
discouraged. Remember that the watchman 
on the walls who saw an enemy approaching, 
and gave the alarm, saved his own soul ; 
then if this going to and fro giving the warn- 
ing when required will save one soul, surely it 
is enough, and of more value than all the labor. 
" Oh, then ! whatever you find for you to do, 
do it in the might and strength which He who 
commands will give, whether the people will 
hear or forbear. Our Heavenly Father is good, 
and permits us to enjoy the wonders and beau- 
ties of this lower world as we pass up and down 
in it. Sometimes as I look on the green and 
fruitful fields and forests, I think I see the 
seeds of future calamity sown in this very 
prosperity. The minds of many seem so im- 
mersed in it, and the pleasing things which it 
gives them, the opportunity and means to 

Rachel Hicks. 201 

gratify themselves in, that afflictions and be- 
reavements even sore and heavy, may be in 
mercy dispensed, and prove blessings in dis- 
guise, so that we may see and feel our de- 
pendence upon the bountiful Giver of every 
good and perfect gift. 

" Of what avail would it be to plow and plant 
if He did not send the ' early and the latter 
rain,' and cause the sun to shine upon and fer- 
tilize the earth ? This I fear is not enough 
considered by many who rely so much upon 
their own skill and wisdom. Dear friends, 
excuse me for thus pouring out my feelings to 
you, as it affords me some relief. 

" Please let us hear from you, your dear 
father, Wm. and Rachel Haines, to whom my 
companions unite in love as well as to you all. 
With this I send that little thing you asked 
for.* I feel a little ashamed to hand it to any 
one. I think I am too old but would much 
like to have yours to please my niece, as she 
boasts of her collection of good Friends. Once 
more adieu. From your affectionate, 


* Her photograph. 

2O2 Memoir of 

" WESTBURY, 2d mo., 23d, 1866. 

"Thy kind letter of I2th mo., last, and the 
photographs are now before me. Oh ! how I 
love to look at them! I am glad that I do not 
feel as some.' dear ones have felt restrained 
from the satisfaction of looking at the counte- 
nance divine of those I love, even thus depicted 
on paper. 

" There is nothing in this lower world, so 
full of beauties and wonders, the work of om- 
nipotent power, that equals the human face 
for interest and instruction. In measure it 
portrays the state of the soul; and often have 
I been edified and strengthened by looking at 

o J o 

a friend whose countenance expressed deep 
religious exercise. Hence the advantage and 
propriety of Friends of this class occupying 
those seats in our meetings which face the 
meeting. I well remember in my childhood 
how the solid deportment of these checked 
that activity that, even in religious meetings, 
children and some youth are prone to ; and I 
have been deeply tried in most of the meetings 
of our Society to see the reluctance in elderly 

Rachel Hicks. 203 

and apparently concerned Friends to take 
those facing seats, and men and women draw- 
ing nearer together in the center of the house. 
I apprehend the fear of being thought forward 
and desirous of taking the ' chief seats in the 
synagogue' is the main reason of this backward- 
ness ; but some of us who take them from a 
sense of duty feel them to be the most humili- 
ating of all, and we require to be kept humble. 

" I rejoiced that dear H was able to join 

the committee of your Quarterly Meeting, to 
visit the small gatherings in various places; 
these evidences of living concern in the larger 
meetings, to look up the remote ones, in Gospel 
love, is very encouraging. I hope your Yearly 
Meeting will continue to stand on the founda- 
tion upon which it first grew up the Divine 
power and spirit of the Father for too many 
amongst us seem to have left the fundamental 

" I have desired to write to you, dear A. and 
H., that we may keep up this correspondence; 
it is so pleasant to hear of Friends in your 
neighborhood, many of whom, as well as your- 
selves, so kindly ministered to our wants, when 

204 Memoir of 

as pilgrims we went up and down amongst you. 
I hope you will have an abundant reward. 

" One object of my writing now is to ask a 
favor of A. When I was with you re- 
lated to me (as I understood him) the testi- 
mony of an Episcopal minister, concerning 
Elias Hicks. I have sometimes repeated it, 
but, fearing I may not remember it exactly, 
I desire to have it in writing from him. Wilt 
thou give my love to him, and ask him to 
favor me with a copy of it in his own hand- 
writing; and I think my heart will overflow 
with gratitude and thankfulness for it. With 
much love to you both, to your father, and to 
W. and R. Haines, 

" Thy sincere friend, 


" WESTBURY, 6th mo., 2/th, 1867. 

" I feel that I can no longer delay making 
the attempt to express my feelings on thy late 
visit to New York, although human language 
is not adequate to portray my concern. I am 
tried and mortified, fearing no one found thee 

Rachel Hicks. 205 

until it was too late to give thee a cordial en- 

" I felt uneasy at leaving thee and thy dear 
daughter at the Meeting-house, not know- 
ing where she and her father were going; 
but as I do not trust myself (now in old age) 
to go out alone, with very little exception, I 
had to leave her when my company came for 
me, and I could not afterward find where you 
were. Please write and tell me, and yet I 
dread to know, fearing you were not in the 
right place. It is not an easy matter now to 
get lodgings near the Meeting-house, Friends 
are scattered so far and wide in the two great 
cities of New York and Brooklyn. But, dear 
friends, when you are coming again, do write 
either to me or to Samuel Willets, 303 Pearl 
street, New York, that a home may be ar- 
ranged for you when you arrive. I allude to 
thee, thy dear wife or daughter. 

" When I have thought of thee lately, the 
language has arisen, ' Let thy light shine.' I 
do not believe thou dost hide it either ' under a 
bed ' or ' under a bushel ; ' then, neither in a 
corner nor on aback seat in the Meeting-house, 

206 Memoir of 

nor in anyway keeping out of the sight of thy 
friends. I do not wonder at thy diffidence. I 
have often felt that gladly would I go into the 
* cleft of the rock or a secret place of the stairs ' 
and hide myself, but I do not yet feel per- 
mitted to do so. 

" Great discouragements are felt, but we must 
labor for the salvation of our own souls ; we 
must, therefore, do and speak all that our 
Father in Heaven requires of us, whether the 
people will hear or forbear. It seems to me 
that thou and thy dear wife will have to come 
and labor again amongst us. There are yet a 
few who have ' not bowed the knee to Baal or 
kissed his image.' Come and encourage these 
little ones, and warn those who are ' hewing out 
cisterns that hold no water,' as you feel the 
Master commands and qualifies for His work. 

" Your letter of I2th mo., '63, is now before 
me. The reading of it renews the feeling of 
unity and sympathy that bound us together ; 
and also, with that dear brother and sister who 
accompanied you in your first visit to New 
York, which was so acceptable to us. Dear 
friend, I do not wonder at thy downcast feelings 

Rachel Hicks. 207 

at coming again, but do not be discouraged. 
Remember that help is with One who is mighty 
and able to save, and to qualify the little de- 
pendent ones who trust in Him. He will 
work miracles for these, making a way where 
there appears to be no path to walk in. In 
true and living faith take one step, and strength 
will be given for the next. 

" But why do I write thus to a father in Israel, 
who is better qualified, I think, to instruct me 
than I am to counsel him ? But, I remember 
the Lord's prophet formerly sat under a juni- 
per-tree, and went into a cave, and there he 
patiently hid himself and waited until the call 
was, ' What doest thou here, Elijah ? Go forth 
and stand upon the mount before the Lord ; ' 
and there he was told what to do, and he went 
and performed all that was commanded him. 

"Oh! mayest thou, thy dear wife, and the poor 
little friend who now writes to thee, go and do 
likewise. Although our duties may be very 
small, if done in sincerity to our God, our re- 
ward will be sure. I feel that my day's work 
is nearly accomplished ; not much more going 
to and fro on the earth will be required of me, 

208 Memoir of 

and my prayers are oft put up that well quali- 
fied laborers may be sent into the vineyard, 
to gather to the one Shepherd and one fold. 

" I am weary of discussion about doctrines 
and opinions, and long to feel life to rise in 
dominion, uniting us together in love one to 
another, and to our Father in Heaven. 

" In love to thee and thine, thy friend, 


"WESTBURY, , 1868. 


" I take the pen to say to thee, that thy let- 
ter which I received yesterday was as a brook 
by the way, cheering and comforting the 
thirsty and weary traveler. 

I rejoice that your Monthly Meeting has 
sustained its dignity in maintaining two of 
our important testimonies against an un- 
authorized ministry and war in so patient 
and quiet a manner; thus allowing those 
who thought they could by their eloquence 
carry out their wishes, time and opportunity 
to try their strength. But your trust being 

Rachel Hicks. 209 

in a Higher power than man, you in a solemn 
manner bore your testimony to good order 
in the Truth, showing that Truth is strongest, 
and will prevail, if we abide under its teaching 
and influence. 

" I have long thought that if you, the rightly 
exercised in your meeting, kept a patient re- 
liance on Him who rules and overrules the 
children of men, He would, in His own time, 
make a way for your deliverance. But as 
thou remarkest, your ' trials are not yet over.' 
You must continue to put your trust in the same 
Almighty Power, and He will carry you through 
troubles that may come ; and it seems to me, if 
you are all watchful, prayerful and obedient, 
that a living gospel ministry will be raised 
up in your meeting ; but oh ! the bap- 
tisms, the self-abasedness, that must be ex- 
perienced to prepare the instrument for this 

" I have sometimes in my sympathy for such, 
felt that were it possible I would willingly en- 
dure these for them ; but we must each one en- 
dure our own conflicts, and work out our own 
soul's salvation, through and by the power our 

2io Memoir of 

Heavenly Father gives, and then to Him all 

the glory will be ascribed. 

* * * * * 

" In love to thy children and thyself, 
" Thy friend, 


"WESTBURY, 2d mo., IQth, 1 868. 


"I take my pen to inform thee that our 
Monthly Meeting has no library of Friends' 
books, nor has it received any from our Yearly 
Meeting's committee, except a few which I 
have asked for to give to individuals to keep as 
their own. I believe the object of this concern 
was, to use the interest of our Yearly Meeting 
fund in this way. Dear Caroline and myself 
when traveling, found so many young families 
without Friends' books that we felt a united 
concern to make the proposition to the Yearly 
Meeting. Therefore I hope the committee will 
be encouraged in the good work, and I rejoice 
we have one so capable and devoted. Although 
books are not needed here, I hope you will 
look up young housekeepers who may not feel 

Rachel Hicks. 211 

able to buy them, but would be glad to get 

" I think the original Minute says ' Friends' 
books approved by the Society.' It is our duty 
to do all we can for our Society in secondary 
helps, but after all, nothing will save it but a 
deep indwelling of spirit and individual obedi- 
ence to manifested duty, as made known by our 
Holy Head. 

" I trust you are getting along comfortably 
in your meeting. I have long had faith to be- 
lieve that as you looked to the Source of all 
good, you would realize deliverance. 

" In much love, thy affectionate, 


" WESTBURY, /th mo., 2d, 1868. 

" I have just finished a letter to P. W. C., 
giving her an account of the death of thy dear 
husband. How frequent are these dispensa- 
tions ! Which of us will go next we do not 
know. I think I can truly say, it is my con- 
stant concern to be ready. The world, with its 
beauties and attractions, is fading in my view, 

212 Memoir of 

and I have nothing to rejoice in but the glory 
of God's salvation. 

" At times the language to my soul is, ' A 
mansion is prepared for thee in Heaven, 
if thou holdest out until the end, doing 
the will of thy Father there.' I trust this 
is thy experience also : then we will be 
willing to wait a little longer for an entrance 
into that city whose ' walls are salvation and 
whose gates are praise.' Often the desire of 
my heart is to have admittance just within the 
gates : it is all I dare to ask. The language of 
my spirit is, ' I am not worthy to sit on Thy 
right hand or on Thy left, but the lowest seat 
where I can behold Thy majesty and Thy glory 
is enough.' 

" Now, thou art weaned from the world, 
but, dear friend, try and bear up ; there still 
may be a work for thee to do. How thy ser- 
vices are needed ! I have no idea that be- 
cause we lose a near and dear friend, we can- 
not go to meeting, or that we cannot do any- 
thing more for our Society. Oh, no ! if we do 
our duty to our Heavenly Father, He will sus- 
tain and carry us over the waves of affliction 

Rachel Hicks. 213 

which otherwise would overwhelm. It seems 
to me that thou canst say, 'Thou hast given, 
and Thou hast taken away, blessed be Thy 
name.' Here I leave thee in His arms. 
" Farewell in love I am thy friend, 


" WESTBURY, i2th mo., isth, 1868. 

u * * * Cares are good for us : to raise 
the poor drooping mind from dwelling too much 
on the dear ones we have lost. I know it by 
experience, for my mind often wanders back to 
scenes passed away except in memory. I think 
the last anniversary of my dear son Abraham's 
death, was as vivid as any which preceded it, 
although I could say, fourteen years ago this 
day he passed to a glorious reward for his care- 
ful and devoted life. Oh ! how I longed to pass 
away with him ! but I see that we have to be 
willing to live, as well as willing to die ; and if 
we are carefully engaged to do our Master's 
will in all things, ere long we shall join those 
who have gone a little before us. 

214 Memoir of 

" I believe that there are many round about 
us who wonder and inquire why it is our 
meetings are so small. I remember once when 
from home, a man who I thought was a Meth- 
odist minister, asked me why it was that our 
Society did not increase as the Methodists' did. 

" I replied that I thought the great reason 
was that our religion required us to take up the 
daily cross and live a life of self-denial to our 
human propensities, which was hard to the 
creature to give up to, in a day of outward 
prosperity and ease, such as we are now tried 
with. But if a day of trouble and persecution 
should come, many would feel that they needed 
a Comforter within them ; an omnipotent arm 
to lean upon, to carry them through and over 
the waves of affliction that beat upon them. 
To realize this, they would have to make a full 
surrender, and sincerely say, ' Not my will, but 
Thine, Oh ! God, be done.' It was my feeling 
that then, our Society would undoubtedly in- 
crease. But the religion of many other sects 
seems to allow indulgences in the fashions 
and pleasures of this world. They can sub- 
scribe to creeds, rites and ceremonies in wor- 

Rachel Hicks. 2i5 

ship, etc., which please human nature, and so 
they increase. He made me no reply, and we 



" Thy affectionate, 


"WESTBURY, L. I., nth mo., 25th, 1869. 

"When I opened thy letter of the I4th inst. 
I felt pleased to see thy name subscribed, as an 
evidence thou hast not forgotten me ; but, 
when I read the subject thou asked me to write 
upon, I felt it was more than I was capable of. 
It is a subject that has prompted discussion 
and controversy ever since the fourth century 
among professed Christians, and it has never 
been finally settled. But, after all, each one 
must be left to his own judgment and feelings 
on the subject. 

" Thou art aware that our religious Society 
at least our branch of it sometimes called 
' Hicksites/ has never had a formal written 
creed to which we must subscribe, although it 
is necessary to unite on important points, that 

21 6 Memoir of 

harmony may be preserved. We do believe in 
the existence of the one, eternal, omnipotent, 
omnipresent God, and in His Son, whom He 
hath brought forth in every rational soul, by 
the overshadowing of His power and presence, 
which is the ' Christ within,' the Saviour, to 
every one who believeth and is obedient to 
His teachings. 

" As to Jesus of Nazareth, I will comply 
with thy request to give my own views, which, 
as far as I know, are held by our Society, with 
very few exceptions. 

" I believe the testimony He gave of Him- 
self when He said to Pilate, 'To this end was 
I born, and for this cause came I into the 
world, that I should bear witness unto the 
truth.' We see that He faithfully bore testi- 
mony to the immutable principles of pure and 
undefiled religion, which are termed the Chris- 
tian religion, because it was exemplified in the 
doctrines He taught, and the perfect example 
He set. 

" This is the greatest and most important 
mission to the world ever performed by any 
personage that has appeared in it. There- 

Rachel Hicks. 217 

fore, in the wisdom, love and power of the 
Almighty Father, who sent Him for this great 
purpose, He endued Him with a degree of 
Divine wisdom and power which no other has 
a right to claim or aspire after, to teach 
spiritual truths and a spiritual worship ; also, 
when smitten on one cheek to turn the other 
also, instead of contending ; and, in connection 
with all this, the principles of a holy religion, 
which, if lived in, would reform the world of 
mankind. To teach these spiritual truths to a 
people who were looking in their expectations 
and desires for a king to restore the outward 
kingdom they had lost by their transgressions, 
required all the manifestations of power in the 
miracles He wrought in connection with the 
authority in which He spake to the people. 
Not only in that great Sermon on the Mount, 
but at all other seasons, he testified that He 
was the Messiah, sent of God to instruct the 
Jews in a higher and purer morality than 
they were prepared for when Moses gave 
them the law. This was adapted to their state 
and condition at that time; but it was His 
mission to teach them and all others, to 

218 Memoir of 

worship God in spirit and in truth, in which 
all the offerings of slain beasts were to be dis- 
pensed with, and also the labor the priests 
had to perform in burnt offerings, etc. 

" Most surely all that the New Testament 
sets forth of the Holy Jesus, the Son and sent 
of God, required all the power and wisdom He 
showed forth while in that body miraculously 
brought into being. But it was the Divine 
power in Him that constituted the sonship. 
He ascribed all power and glory to the Father. 
He said, ' I do nothing of myself, but as my 
Father has taught me I speak these things, 
and He that sent me is with me. The Father 
hath not left me alone, for I do always those 
things that please Him.' Here was the unity 
He spake of when He said, ' I and the Father 
are one.' ' The words that I speak unto you 
I speak not of myseif, but the Father that 
dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.' Again, 
He said, 'I am the door of the sheep.' ' I am 
the way, and the truth, and the life.' ' Before 
Abraham was I am.' Now the I and the Me 
He so often speaks of was the Divinity that 
was in Him. 

Rachel Hicks. 219 

" And now, dear friend, I leave Him ac- 
cording to His own testimony. I have a 
reverence for Jesus Christ, because of the 
Divinity, the power and wisdom that dwelt in 
Him ; but oh ! words cannot portray the sol- 
emn reverence that oft bows my soul before 
the one true and living God, the Creator of all 
things, in thankfulness that the whole human 
family are accepted of Him, if they individu- 
ally, in sincerity of heart, endeavor to do always 
the things that please Him, as He reveals 
His will to them by His spirit in their souls. 
Then we shall appreciate, as an unspeakable 
favor, the coming, the ministry, the example 
of Jesus Christ, and the record of Him which 
is preserved, so that we can read and be in- 
structed thereby. 

" It is a great favor to be instructed in 
the way we should go, and to be taught in 
early life to keep the first and greatest com- 
mandment, ' Thou shalt love the Lord thy 
God with all thy might, mind and strength ; ' 
and the second, which is like unto it, to ' Love 
thy neighbor as thyself.' Jesus also taught, 
' Love your enemies, bless them that curse 

220 Memoir of 

you, do good to them that hate you, and pray 
for them which despitefully use you, that ye 
may be the children of your Father which is 
in Heaven ; ' also, in all things to do unto 
others as we would they should do unto us. 
All of His precepts and commandments are 
binding upon us, as we call ourselves by 
His name ; which name or title of Christian 
was given to believers because they were 
Christ-like. Again, He said, ' He that hath 
my commandments, he it is that loveth me.' 

" I would like that those who say we 
Friends are infidels were queried with, ' Is 
it your constant care and concern to keep 
all the commandments of Christ, who said, 
"Swear not at all and Put thy sword into 
its sheath " ? ' Do their ministers remem- 
ber the command to those He sent? 'Take 
no thought beforehand what ye shall speak, 
neither do ye premeditate ; but whatsoever 
shall be given you in that hour, that speak ye, 
for it is not ye that speak, but the Holy Ghost.' 
' Freely ye have received, freely give.' If they do 
all these things, then may they rejoice in that 
testimony of the Holy Jesus at the close of 

Rachel Hicks. 221 

His Sermon on the Mount, 'Therefore, who- 
soever heareth these sayings of mine and cloeth 
them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which 
built his house upon a rock; and the rain de- 
scended, and the floods came, and the winds 
blew, and beat upon that house, and it fell not, 
for it was founded upon a rock.' 

" I would that professing Christians every- 
where might ponder on these sayings, and live 
in accordance therewith, for Jesus also said, 
' And every one that heareth these sayings of 
mine and doeth them not, shall be likened unto 
a foolish man, which built his house upon the 
sand; and the rain descended, and the floods 
came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that 
house, and it fell, and great was the fall of 

" Dear friend, I have in my feeble manner 
given thee my views of the mission of Jesus 
Christ. As far as I can judge, our members 
generally unite therein, though we may not 
always use the same terms when speaking of 

"Thy affectionate friend, 


222 Memoir of 

" WESTBURY, 6th mo., igth, 1870. 

" In reading thy late acceptable letter I felt a 
fear that them wast giving way to undue dis- 
couragement because of the omission of some 
known duty to thy Heavenly Father. But 
then it occurred to me, how much better to 
feel thus, than to be dwelling upon what we 
suppose are our great and good works, which 
is a sad and sorrowful state to be in. 

" In thy loneliness and sadness thou queriest, 
'Am I alone in this ? ' Dear friend, very far from 
it have not the righteous in all ages had their 
deep baptisms, their various trials and bereave- 
ments? The living members of our Society, 
from its rise down to the present time, have 
recorded their exercises, which have been hand- 
ed down to us for our help and encouragement ; 
for instance, John Woolman, Job Scott and 
others. In reading these, the query has arisen 
in my mind, ' Why should such faithfully ded- 
icated servants of the Most High have to pass 
through such deep exercises? ' The response 
is ' They are necessary to keep the mind 
humbly bowed at the feet of the Divine Mas- 

Rachel Hicks. 223 

ter, and make them feel their dependence upon 
Him, to qualify for every good word, and work, 
and thus realize peace of mind here on earth 
and joy unspeakable in the world to come.' 
And as our Eternal Father is unchangeable, 
we in our day and the generations yet to 
come have to endure similar trials, to redeem 
and purify the soul, so as to keep it clean in 
His sight. 

" What would this world be without the 
winds, the storms, and the rains, and may we 
not say the whirlwind and the earthquake? 
Continual sunshine would soon dry up the 
vegetable kingdom, and consequently famine 
and desolation would ensue. Then, dear friend, 
let us pray for patient resignation, to endure 
the turning and overturning of the Lord's hand 
upon us, until He is pleased to say, ' It is 
enough.' Then with David we can say, ' I 
waited patiently for the Lord, and He inclined 
unto me and heard my cry. He brought me 
up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry 
clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and estab- 
lished my goings, and He hath put a new song 
in my mouth, even praises unto our God ! ' 

224 Memoir of 

Surely this is worth all we can endure, and 
what can we ask for more ? All this thou 
knowest right well and I also know thy feel- 
ings when thou sayest, ' Of what use have I 
ever been in the world?' If we have ever been 
of any real benefit to others, it is best for us 
not to be aware of it, lest we might be tempted 
to boast. Although we may not be always 
able to wear our sackcloth under a smiling face, 
yet the expression of deep exercise in the coun- 
tenance may have an effect on some minds, and 
induce a serious thoughtfulness useful to them. 
" Our forefathers had much to endure from 
persecution, censure and ridicule. They were 
bowed down under it all, seeking strength of 
Him who alone could enable them to hold on 
their way heavenward ; and by their faithful- 
ness, uprightness, love to each other, and to the 
whole human family in short by their Christian 
deportment they gained the admiration and 
toleration of their opposers. Well may Samuel 
M. Janney say, in concluding the first volume 
of his History of Friends: 'Being thus faithful 
unto death, they received the crown of eternal 
life, and bequeathed to posterity examples 

Rachel Hicks. 22$ 

of holiness and fidelity that have seldom been 
equaled in any age of the world.' We of 
this generation, with the other inhabitants of 
Christendom, are enjoying the fruits of their 
patient suffering and labor. They were instru- 
ments in the Divine Hand of opening the eyes 
of those in authority to see the inconsistency of 
persecuting others who differed from them in 
their religious doctrines and practices. 

" I wish that our young friends would read 
and see for themselves, how nobly our prede- 
cessors, under divine authority and wisdom, 
plead with the potentates of the earth for 
liberty of conscience for all men and by the 
Divine blessing, were they not successful ? 
What have been the persecutions in these na- 
tions since they ceased persecuting Friends? 

" And now, shall we in this day, rise up 
in judgment and say that they and their 
successors in faithfulness to their sense of 
religious duty were too strict and reserved ? 
As thou sayest, truly some individuals may 
have been so ; but generally, I believe they la- 
bored in sincerity to train up their children 
and others under their care, in the way they 

226 Memoir of 

believed they ought to go, in dress, language 
and deportment, and steadily to attend all our 
meetings, etc., etc. And I think mostly the 
youth, seeing and feeling the religious concern 
of their parents, elders and friends, rather than 
grieve them, would take up the cross to their 
own inclinations. I know this in my own ex- 
perience ; and now in old age I look back to my 
youthful days in this respect with great satis- 
faction. But then we had plenty of company, 
as our associates walked in the same path. 
And I remember too, about sixty years ago, 
when our Yearly Meeting was held in Pearl 
Street, New York, at the rise of the First Day 
Morning Meeting, on the opposite side of the 
street would stand a crowd of young men and 
boys to look at the ' pretty Quaker girls ' when 
they came out of meeting. A Friend who 
lived in the city was asked why the Quaker 
girls were so much prettier than others. She 
replied, ' It is not that they are prettier than 
others, but their neat, plain dress makes them 
look so.' But we do not hear such remarks 
now ; on the contrary, it is said they are more 
extravagant and fashionable than the daughters 

Rachel Hicks. 227 

of other sects. I have heard it said also that 
some parents object to their children's asso- 
ciating with our youth on this account. Why is 
it so ? Does it not mostly lie with parents who 
encourage this finery and show ? making it 
very difficult, almost impossible, for the really 
concerned ones to keep their offspring in mod- 
eration. But notwithstanding, if these deeply 
exercised mothers in a meek and quiet spirit 
bear their testimony to their daughters, the re- 
ward and language will be, ' Let her alone ; she 
has done what she could.' 

" When we look over our nation and see the 
fashionable idleness and expensive toilets that 
the tyrant Fashion is driving the great mass of 
the people into, and also the many frauds prac- 
ticed to get money to support this way of liv- 
ing, and the late evening parties and amuse- 
ments, it feels to me that it does not require the 
spirit of prophecy to tell us that a day of calam- 
ity of some kind or other will ere long come. 
Then the foundation on which the people stand 
will be closely tried. If it be upon the 'Rock,' 
where Christ said His Church was built, it will 
stand the floods and tempests that beat against 

228 Memoir of 

it ; but if on human devices and desires, it 
will fall, and great will be the fall of those who 

choose the sand to build upon. 

* * * : * 

" I would that our young people would for- 
bear criticising what seems to them the errors 
and weaknesses of those older than themselves, 
or of those who have passed away. Nothing is 
to be gained by this ; but if they would turn 
from this spirit and look into their own hearts, 
and be simply obedient to the teachings of the 
Most High there, then would they rise and shine 
as stars in the firmament of God's power, and 
by example and precept say to those around 
them, ' Come, and let us go up to the moun- 
tain of the Lord, to the House of the God of 
Jacob, and He will teach us of His ways, and 
we will walk in His paths.' If they could see 
such a band of laborers entering the Lord's 
vineyard to labor as He directs, the hearts of 
many of the aged would then say, ' Now lettest 
Thou Thy servant depart in peace.' 

" I did not think to write so much when I 
began, but I seem not to know how to stop, I 
feel so strongly the language of encouragement 

Rachel Hicks. 229 

for thee, to finish thy day's work now in the 
daytime. Do not keep back that which thy 
Lord and Master gives thee for others, whether 
to thy knowledge they seem to hear or forbear. 
It may be like seed cast upon good ground 
yielding fruit in due season. Thus may thy 
tears, thy prayers, and thy exhortations rise up 
in the memories of those near and dear to thee, 
when thy immortal soul shall have entered into 
eternal rest ; for verily do I feel that there is a 
mansion prepared for thee, in the Father's 
House, there to join redeemed spirits who 
"have come out of great tribulation and have 
washed their robes and made them white in the 
blood of the Lamb," which is the eternal divine 
life of God in the soul. That I, too, may be 
permitted to enter there, is the daily prayer and 
continual concern of 

" Thy affectionate, 


" WESTBURY, 9th mo., nth, 1870. 

" I dearly love to commune with thee by the 
pen, when absent from thee as to the body ; 

230 Memoir of 

for the fellowship of the Spirit time and dis- 
tance do not lessen ; but oh ! how I did enjoy 
the sweet mingling at your Quarterly Meeting. 
Thou hast no doubt heard that 
within a few weeks we have lost three aged 
men Friends from our meeting. How we miss 
them ! Which of us will go next we cannot 
tell, but if we are only ready, we may well give 
ourselves up to Him who knows when the 
right time comes to cut the tender thread of 
mortal life. 

" It seems to me that my spirit has been 
impressed with an unusual degree of solem- 
nity in view of this dispensation. Whether 
my time is near at hand I cannot tell ; I some- 
times feel as though my day's work was not 
quite finished, but I am thankful I can say, 
' Not my will, but Thine, oh Father, be done.' 
I wish the young could see and be convinced 
that the sooner we surrender our will to the 
Divine will the easier it becomes, opening the 
way for the heart to feel that it is its meat and 
drink and chiefest joy to do the will of our 
Heavenly Father. If the youth would choose 
this high and holy way, and walk in it, how our 

Rachel Hicks. 231 

meetings would increase in size, in life, and in 
power ! Many who are now convinced of the 
fundamental principles of the Christian relig- 
ion would come and join in membership with 
us, I fully believe, and the principles of peace 
would spread in Christendom until the sword 
would be sheathed forever. 

" It feels to me that we, as a people, are 
loudly called upon to let our light shine be- 
fore men by dwelling in a meek and quiet 
spirit in our daily intercourse with our fellow- 

" It is wonderful to contemplate that even 
European nations have not yet seen enough 
of the horrors of war to deter them from it ; 
but the pride of the haughty we hope will be 
humbled for their good. These subjects are 
so great that much might be said upon them. 

" In the sweet fellowship of the gospel, I bid 
thee farewell." 

" WESTBURY, nth mo., i3th, 1871. 

" My mind often turns to thee. I apprehend 
that thou too may sometimes say of me, ' What 

232 Memoir of 

is she doing and thinking about ?' Therefore 
I will tell thee that I arrived safely home on 
Sixth Day evening. The next day M. P. sent 
for me, and I passed most of the afternoon 
with her. The day after I attended Meeting, 
and had many welcome greetings from my 
friends, and in the afternoon had considerable 
company. Through the week used my needle 
and read to Willie, as he frequently comes 
to me with his book. Lizzie has grown 
and improved much. How dear they are to 
me ! 

" Yesterday I attended a circular meeting at 
Flushing. I was glad to meet with Friends 
there, and to be at home again after so long 
an absence. It is a dearer and sweeter spot 
than all others on earth to me ; but the satis- 
faction experienced in being permitted to re- 
turn to it, does not compare with the sweet 
peace of mind I am blessed with. 

" When I retired to my chamber on my 
first arrival home, in taking a retrospect 
of the journey, and realizing how we had 
been favored to accomplish it, my mind being 
relieved of the burden attendant thereon 

Rachel Hicks. 233 

and believing that my Heavenly Father had 
accepted the sacrifice I said in my heart, 
'The work Thou gavest me to do is finished, 
and in the sweet peace I feel, may I not pass 
away to my eternal rest in Heaven.' I saw 
nothing in my way, although there was a 
little clinging to this life, but I was almost 
ready to say, ' Now lettest Thou Thy ser- 
vant depart in peace, for mine eyes have 
seen thy salvation.' But soon the language 
in my heart was, A little longer, a little long- 
er must thou tarry. Thy work in this lower 
world is not quite finished, but if thou con- 
tinue faithful to the end, thou shalt enter the 
mansion prepared for thee in Heaven. My 
soul and all within me bowed in reverence and 
submission, saying, 'Thy will be done.' For 
this favored season gratitude and thanksgiving 
clothe my spirit ; and the aspiration of my soul 
is for strength and ability to perform the little 
that may yet be required of me, so as not to 
lose the crown at the end of my race, which 
cannot be very far off. 

" Thy friend affectionately, 


234 Memoir of 

" WESTBURY, 2d mo., 4th, 1872. 

" At our late Quarterly Meeting I met our 
mutual friend J. B., and he handed me a gift 
to our Willie from thee, which pleased him 
very much. He examined it often and won- 
dered who made it. * * He sends 
his love to thee, and says he feels very thankful 
to thee for the nice present. His parents too, 
feel grateful to be thus remembered, and send 
their love to thee and thy husband, and tell 
me to say to you that our next Quarterly Meet- 
ing is held here at Westbury, in 4th mo., and 
they will be pleased to see you at that time, 
or whenever it suits you, with which I unite. 

* So many of my 

friends have expressed surprise that one so 
aged as I could take so long a journey as I did 
last fall, that I feel bound to make the acknowl- 
edgment that we do not serve a hard Master, 
but a good one, who requires no more of us 
than He gives us strength to perform. In this 
faith I left my home; on His power, love, and 
wisdom I relied ; and forever blessed be His 
name, He preserved my mind in quiet resigna- 

Rachel Hicks. 235 

tion to His will! I believe this calm, may I 
not say serious cheerfulness of mind, tends 
much to strengthen the body and preserve its 
health. Without boasting I could say, ' If it 
be in accordance with Thy wisdom to take my 
mortal life, Thy will be done.' * 
The aspiration of my spirit is that the Most 
High will raise up faithful laborers by His 
power and wisdom, and send them into His 
vineyard to labor for the gathering of souls to 
the kingdom of Heaven, which is attained only 
by obedience to the manifested will of our 

"Although the Spirit of Truth is sufficient 
to lead into righteousness and preserve from 
all error, our Heavenly Father in love and 
mercy has provided secondary means of help 
and encouragement : the Holy Scriptures, and 
the example and precepts of those who are led 
and guided by His Spirit. That such may be 
raised up is the prayer of my spirit, and sent 
to the small isolated meetings as well as to 
larger ones to encourage all to make a full 
surrender of their will to the will of Him who 
created us to glorify Him, and the soul immor- 

236 Memoir of 

tal to be glorified with Him through a never- 
ending eternity, if we make the wise choice to 
obey Him in all things. 

"I have alluded to small isolated meetings 
for to these I have been particularly drawn, as 
thou mayst see when I state that in this late 
visit to the West we went from Richmond, 
Indiana, to Blue River Meeting, it being 211 
miles; thence to Honey Creek, 147 miles; 
thence to Benjaminville, 186 miles ; thence to 
Plainfield, 100 miles: thence to Prairie Grove, 
Iowa, 112 miles; thence to West Liberty, 40 
miles ; thence to Highland, 9 miles ; thence to 
Honey Grove, 9 miles ; back to West Liberty, 
12 miles; thence to Marietta, 112 miles; and 
thence to Stirling, Illinois, 179 miles, etc., etc. 

" Several of these meetings in Iowa have 
been set up within the last few years, and 
as far as I could see or feel there are liv- 
ingly concerned Friends in all that we attend- 
ed ; and I think they manifest this concern by 
desiring a Yearly Meeting established there, as 
very few of them can get to the annual gath- 
erings to which they now belong especially 
the youth. As we are designed to be helpers 

Rachel Hicks. 237 

to one another, no doubt concerned Friends 
would be drawn to attend a Yearly Meeting, 
and I hope the small ones also. 

"We were from home ten weeks and three 
days, attended three Yearly Meetings and 
several monthly and other meetings (about 
thirty-five). For the encouragement of others 
I feel to say that my health was good, 
and very little fatigue was I sensible of 
owing much I think to the quietude of my 
mind, oft feeling I was just where my Heaven- 
ly Father designed I should be. To Him be 
all the praise ! Nothing is due to myself, for 
I feel that I am one of the least of the flock, if 
at all worthy to be numbered with the com- 
panions of Christ. 

" Please excuse this long letter, and write if 
thou feels like it. My love to thy family and 
to all other inquiring friends, for my love flows 
to the whole human family, for which I feel 
thankful, as love, unity and harmonyare much 
needed in Christendom. 

" Thy affectionate 


238 Memoir of 

" WESTBURY, 4th mo., i7th, 1872. 

" Our Monthly Meeting to-day gave me a 
Minute to attend the ensuing Yearly Meeting of 
Genesee, and to attend also and appoint a few 
meetings going and returning ; therefore when 
your Monthly Meeting again occurs, I hope 
thou wilt feel bound to ask for a Minute also. 

" It has always been a great dread to me to 
open these concerns in our meetings at home, 
and I feel much relieved in having done it to- 
day. Nothing but a firm belief that my peace 
with my Heavenly Father consists in a full 
surrender of my will to Him could induce me 
to make the effort ; for He is all goodness, love 
and mercy, and we cannot do too much to ob- 
tain a sense of acceptance with Him. 

" His promises He fulfills, and if we ask we 
shall receive ability to do all that He requires. 
My reliance is on Him He also provides 
helpers in the work. To these I also look, 
and feel thankful that thou art bound in spirit 
to go with me. 

" In much love, thy affectionate, 

Rachel Hicks. 239 

" WESTBURY, 6th mo., 1872. 

" I arrived home safely the next day after 
parting with thee, and found all well. So 
thankful was I for the mercy that I twice 
knelt alone in my chamber to give utter- 
ance to praises and to return thanks to the 
Great Author of all good for the wonderful 

" Westbury and Long Island never looked 
more beautiful and flourishing, although rain 
was thought to be much needed. Yesterday it 
fell plentifully, and in looking at it I felt we 
ought almost with one accord reverentially to 
bow the knee in thanksgiving for the blessing. 
R. P. came on Seventh Day to fulfill her prospect 
of service in this neighborhood. J. H. and E. 
made arrangements for all our Long Island 
Meetings. I looked with gratitude at these 
young men who are taking the place of my 
father and other venerable Friends on such oc- 

" I went with them to Jericho ; that meeting 
was small. Long ago I heard it said that when 
an eminent minister passed away from a meet- 

240 Memoir of 

ing it often dwindled. The people rely- too 
much on them, I suppose. 

" My friends seem quite willing to have me 
home again, where, as far as I now see, I may 
mostly stay the short remainder of my days 
and mingle with them in sweet companion- 
ship. My prayer oft is, that the evening of 
my life may be passed in patience, meekness, 
and quietness of spirit, whatever may be per- 
mitted to come upon me. My health is good, 
and I was not at all fatigued with my long 
journey. I am often asked, 'Was thee not 
worn out with traveling so far ? ' They seem 
not to understand how it could be otherwise. 


" Thy affectionate, 


" WESTBURY, i ith mo., 3d, '72. 

" I was pleased to receive thy interesting 
letter of loth mo., 28th, and now have taken 
the pen to tell thee so. Oft when I feel that I 
ought to write to my friends, I am inclined to 
plead an excuse because of poverty of spirit. 

Rachel Hicks. 241 

What can I put on paper worthy of the time 
and attention of those I address ? But I can, 
in truth, say to every one, ' I love thee ;' for 
in humble gratitude I feel love to flow to 
the whole human family, although with the 
actions of many I have no unity. But the im- 
mortal soul is precious, and for it my prayers 
ascend to Him who is all goodness and power 
to open the eyes of those to see and feel that 
true happiness is only to be realized in doing 
His will. 

" I know that He waits long to show Him- 
self gracious, and visits and calls home to Him- 
self the wandering prodigal, but leaves all to 
choose for themselves whether they will return, 
yea or nay. Although we know that His grace 
is sufficient for every one to work out his own 
soul's salvation, if obedience keep pace with 
the knowledge of His will in the secret of the 
soul, yet let us do all we can to encourage one 
another to walk in the strait and narrow way to 
eternal life. 

" I am glad that you the committee of our 
Yearly Meeting have purchased the ' Memoir' 
of dear Margaret Brown, and I unite with the 


242 Memoir of 

proposition of our friend to procure a large 
number of copies. I would like to have several 
myself to give to isolated families. After our 
last Yearly Meeting, one of the committee gave 
me several books that were left from last year, 
and I gave them to those in limited circum- 
stances, and they seemed to appreciate them. 
I wish Friends generally would read Friends' 
books much more than I fear many do. I 
grieve in the secret of my heart when I go into 
a Friend's house and see piles of books on the 
centre table, and I cannot find a Friend's book 
among them. I believe the committee have 
done what they could, and when we have 
done all we can, then let us be resigned. We 
can do no more through the mercy of Jehovah 
than save our own souls. 

" I am glad that thy health is improved and 
that thou canst attend meetings and fulfill 
thy other duties. I hear you have another 
preacher in your meeting I hope she will 
keep low, and humbly bowed at the feet of 
the Divine Master, and be obedient to all His 
requirings ; then she may make a noble in- 
strument for the encouragement of others. 

Rachel Hicks. 243 

" My petitions, and I doubt not those of 
others, oft are, that He will raise up and send 
into His vineyard faithful laborers to call unto 
others, ' Come taste and see that the Lord is 
good,' and worthy to be worshiped and obeyed. 
With thee I feel much for our dear friend 

. A close and heavy affliction she, her 
father, and his family are passing through, and 
I hope all will be profited by it. They have 
the greatest consolation in the belief that the 
dear departed one no doubt is resting in Heav- 
en, and what can we ask for more for those 
nearest and dearest to us ? The loss is great to 
her family; but the poor and needy what will 
they do? Who will take her place in adminis- 
tering to their wants? * 

" When thou meetest me please come to me 
and tell me thy name, for I am so old and 
forgetful of names although I know the 
countenance very well. I dearly love to take 
my friends by the hand. 

"Please write when thou feelest like it, and 

" Thy affectionate, 


244 Memoir of 

" WESTBURY, i2th mo., 22d, 1872. 

" Company for nearly a week past, and other 
engagements have prevented me from attend- 
ing to my feelings, and to my desire to write 
to thee. I now take the pen for that pur- 
pose, for I have longed to commune with 
one with whose congenial spirit I feel sweet 
unity and a freedom to unbosom my whole 
heart ; and thou art the one, for thou wilt 
bear with my weaknesses and frailties. Oh ! 
the satisfaction I anticipated in thy late visit, 
which was too short for me ! How people 
differ in their feelings ! 

" S. H., in the Intelligencer, calls upon us to 
' Cheer up and take fresh courage.' It may 
be an admonition for me, for in spirit I 
go mostly mourning on my way, ready to 
exclaim with one formerly, ' Oh ! that my 
head were waters, and mine eyes a fountain 
of tears, that I might weep day and night 
for the slain of the daughters of my people.' 
When I see and hear of so many empty seats 
in our meetings the query arises, ' Why is it 
so? Why is it that attending our religious 

Rachel Hicks. 245 

meetings seems to have become a secondary af- 
fair ? Is it because the things of this lower world 
have the pre-eminence in the minds of a great 
portion of our members, who seem to desire 
to lay up treasure on earth for the short period 
of time, rather than treasure in Heaven for a 
never-ending eternity : and who are more con- 
cerned to adorn their mortal bodies than to pre- 
pare the soul for immortality, by taking up the 
daily cross, and doing the will of our Father in 
Heaven ? 

" If our meetings are not kept up in the 
Divine Life and Power, how can our Socie- 
ty continue an organized body much longer? 
My spirit is grieved that so many seem not to 
kno.w the real enjoyment of obedience to, and 
waiting upon the Lord, and of worshiping 
Him in spirit and in Truth. 

" Please excuse me, and let me not longer 
burden thee with my sorrows ! I endeavor to 
wear my sackcloth underneath, and keep a 
cheerful countenance when mingling with the 
people. Blessed, forever blessed be the name 
of the Most High, I feel peace with Him, and 
am oft ready to exclaim, ' Oh ! the goodness, 

246 Memoir of 

the mercy and loving-kindness of Israel's God ! 
My prayer to Him is that I may go bowed in 
spirit at His feet, with my mouth in the dust, 
that He may clothe me with a meek and quiet 
spirit, and give me patience and prudence to 
demean myself so as to manifest the sufficiency 
of the Divine Spirit to preserve from all evil. 

" Since my return from our last journey, I 
have felt that my work was accomplished as to 
going far from home ; and latterly I often feel 
that not much more will be required of me, 
even at home, in public communication. Many 
times have I said in my heart in our meetings, 
' I have no authority to preach ; but I can pray,' 
my desires for the people are so strong. My 
work seems to be, to endeavor to promote love 
and harmony among all with whom we min- 
gle ; so I visit occasionally, and write not a 
few letters. When I have nothing else to do, 
I feel best satisfied to do some useful work for 
myself and others. 

" And now, in closing, let me say, avoid my 
discouragements relative to our Society. My 
consolation is that if we wane away, others 
will be raised up to bear all the testimonies 

Rachel Hicks. 247 

which we as a people have been called upon to 
bear to the world ; for they are as necessary 
now for promoting the happiness of man- 
kind as ever they were. I believe also that 
there will be a remnant individuals here 
and there who will be Friends in principle 
and practice although not an organized 
body as we now are. In this hope I con- 

" Thy affectionate friend, 

"R. H." 

" WESTBURY, 4th mo., 2oth, 1873. 

" It is a long time since any epistolary cor- 
respondence has passed between us, therefore 
I now write to thee hoping to receive an an- 

" Of latter time especially, I have felt a strong 
desire to mingle with congenial spirits; and oft 
when sitting alone, I have pondered on past 
days, when we were frequently visited by min- 
isters traveling from a sense of religious duty. 
And as my father's house was a home for these 
in that day, I had the favor from my childhood 

248 Memoir of 

up to youth and middle age, to sit with them 
and hear them converse. Frequently the con- 
versation would cease, and a solemn silence 
would ensue, and in short communications the 
living gospel was preached, which made impres- 
sions on my mind not forgotten. Our particular 
meeting was then large, and rightly concerned 
neighbors would often call in and talk over the 
concerns of our Society; but now alas! in my 
old age how different ! Neighbors are so busy 
they seldom seem to have time to make even 
a call. Our meeting is small, and seldom vis- 
ited by Friends traveling from a sense of duty 
to our Divine Father; I believe it is safe to 
say hardly once in a year. Oh ! why is it so ? 
" That sad Separation in 1 827 and '8, is deeply 
to be lamented, and why did this occur? Was 
it not because of a desire to promulgate opin- 
ions and doctrines, rather than to feel the Di- 
vine life and power rise in dominion in our 
minds, uniting us together in Heavenly peace, 
which is only to be enjoyed by doing the will 
of our Heavenly Father? Had the members 
of our Society lived up to the high profession 
we for more than two centuries have made to 

Rachel Hicks. 249 

the world, of being led and guided by the Spir- 
it of Truth in our own souls, I believe the 
doctrine of depravity in our nature in conse- 
quence of Adam's trangression, and the atone- 
ment for our sins by the crucifixion of the 
body of Jesus on the cross, would have been 
left as non-essentials of belief without contro- 
versy or discussion. Instead of this, they were 
urged upon us as necessary to believe in order 
to be saved with an everlasting salvation ; 
which belief many could not subscribe to. 
Hence that sad 'Separation/ and I fear the 
scattering of many from the foundation upon 
which Christ said His church was built. I fully 
believe there were livingly concerned minds 
amongst those who left us ; and had we avoid- 
ed contention about doctrines, we might have 
remained a united people, helpers to one an- 
other ; for in unity there is strength. 

" In reading the Intelligencer I sometimes 
fear discussions about opinions may again 
arise amongst us ; but I hope opposition 
to opinions we cannot unite with will be 
avoided, unless peace with our Creator re- 
quires it of any, and then it would be wise 

25o Memoir of 

to consult our religiously concerned Friends. 
There are some points of belief necessary 
for us as an organized body to unite in be- 
lieving ; as, for instance, the existence of 
a Supreme Being full of power, wisdom, 
love and mercy; that He created man for 
His own glory, giving him an immortal soul 
and a portion of His Holy Spirit to pre- 
serve that soul in innocency and acceptance 
with Him if man, whom He made a free 
agent, is wise enough to choose obedience to 
Him. Also the several testimonies we have 
for more than two centuries borne to the world 
against war, slavery, intemperance, a hireling 
ministry, oaths and all immoralities, injustice, 
etc., etc. ; to show our faith by our works, 
by our consistent daily deportment and con- 
versation ; moderation in all things, industry, 
economy, plainness, simplicity in dress and 
address, calling no man master for ' one is 
your Master, even Christ ' within us, and ' all 
we are brethren;' doing unto others as we 
wish them to do unto us, etc., etc. 

" Did we all attend to the ' light within ' us, I 
believe we should feel these testimonies to be 

Rachel Hicks. 25 1 

as important and necessary now, as in any day 
or generation preceding us. 

" But seeing that many, not of our Society, 
are convinced of the fundamental principle 
of Christianity, ' The Light within,' and the 
educated hired ministers seem to approve and 
flatter us, there is cause to fear they are draw- 
ing too many away, and are doing us more 
harm than when they were instrumental in per- 
secuting us. And also in this day of outward 
ease and prosperity, the allurements of pride 
and fashion are drawing many of our members 
away from that beautiful simplicity for which 
we were once admired. If we cannot support 
our testimony to simplicity and moderation, 
others no doubt will take it up ; for is it not 
evident that this extravagance and consequent 
great expense induces much of the fraud and 
unfairness resorted to by many to get money to 
keep up the fashionable mode of living? If we 
had given up our will, as John Woolman did, 
we too would have seen limits set by Divine 
Wisdom to the natural desire to accumulate 
riches. We would have been willing to live 
in a plain way which requires no great expense 

252 Memoir of 

to maintain, and our brethren would have been 
spared the toil and anxiety many of them now 
have to endure ; and our example would have 
had a comforting influence upon many around 

" If Infinite Wisdom, Love and Goodness had 
not seen that moderate industry and labor are 
necessary for our health and strength of body 
and mind, He would have so arranged the 
order of nature that the earth would have 
brought forth food and raiment for mankind, 
and no labor would have been necessary. To 
hold up the view that labor or work is not hon- 
orable seems to me to be calling in question the 
wisdom of Providence. 

" I have alluded to our neighbors being too 
busy to visit much : but I feel bound to 
bear the testimony that we live in great 
harmony, and good-will to each other. If 
assistance be necessary, it is very cheerfully 
given, and there is very little, if any, tale-bear- 
ing and detraction amongst us. Although 
I mourn over vacant seats in our meeting 
in the middle of the week, and finery in 
dress, yet I love all, and often pray for them ; 

Rachel Hicks. 253 

I feel bound to speak often to these when we 
meet, and to take them by the hand, for I love 
and pity many of them. The idea is often 
held up that there is no religion in dress, and 
that it is a little thing. 

" Dear M., why should I write so long a let- 
ter to thee? My apology is, that I have been 
longing to mingle with congenial spirits, and 
unless thou wilt be sent to our Quarterly 
Meeting' or Yearly Meeting, I do not know 
when I shall see thee face to face. And now 
with love to thee, thy children, and other 
friends, I conclude, 

" Thy affectionate friend, 


" WESTBURY, nth mo., 26th, 1874. 

" Since I returned home my mind has been 
so much with you that I take my pen to say 
so to you. My heart is filled with gratitude 
and thanksgiving to our Heavenly Father that 
He enabled me to finish the service that I felt 
He required of me in our Monthly Meeting, 
with the exception of two or three families, 

254 Memoir of 

which we yet intend to visit as way opens 
for it. 

" Especially on that rainy day that we were 
favored with, did my mind seem to overflow 
with gratitude and praises ; and I thought of 
the woman Jesus spoke of, who having found 
the lost piece of silver called her friends and 
neighbors together, saying ' Rejoice with me.' 
It seemed to me that your spirits mingled with 
mine, in this grateful rejoicing ; for while with 
you, dear H. expressed her sense of the relief 
1 would feel when through with this arduous 
and humiliating labor. I rejoice not only on 
my own account but also for my helpers, who 
so kindly made all necessary arrangements and 
helped me on my way. May all have the re- 
ward of sweet peace ! And when you look on 
my cold remains, may you rejoice that you did 
all you could for me, a poor unworthy one, feel- 
ing myself to be the least of all the flock and 
companions of Christ, if worthy to be num- 
bered at all with them. 

" Sitting quietly at home, and feeling that 
my day's work in going abroad is nearly accom- 
plished, my love flows to the youth in strong 

Rachel Hicks. 255 

desires that they may be wise enough to make 
covenant with their Creator to serve Him 
whithersoever He may lead, although in the 
cross to human nature. 

" They might be instructed by outward cir- 
cumstances. When in the evening of the day 
they can reflect that all the duties and la- 
bors of the day are accomplished, how glad 
they feel; just so, and greatly more so in a 
spiritual sense will it be, if in the evening 
of life they can look back and feel that they 
have done the best they could in the per- 
formance of the day's work in the daytime. 
The strong will, through the strength which 
the omnipotent Father gives, having been given 
up, and the propensities of human nature thus 
being in a great measure overcome if the 
watch be still maintained they will be clothed 
with a meek and quiet spirit, patiently waiting 
and quietly hoping that in the end they may 
receive the crown of ' Well done, good and 
faithful servant ; enter thou into the joy of thy 
Lord, and into thy Master's rest.' 

" Oh ! how earnestly do I desire that they 
may see and believe in the abundant reward of 

256 Memoir of 

early dedication ; and that they may prove for 
themselves the truth of the testimony of those 
who have realized it, that there is no real joy 
but in feeling accepted and acquitted of Him 
who sees and searches all hearts. This is my 
experience, and I desire you, my dear friends, 
now to devote yourselves to the service of our 
Father in Heaven, that you too in the evening 
of life may rest and rejoice in the God of your 

" Your affectionate 


" WESTBURY, yth mo., 25th, 1875. 


" Since attending all the Yearly Meetings in 
1872, with which we correspond, I have felt 
that my work, as to traveling far from home, 
is accomplished. To remain at and about my 
home is that which my Divine Master now 
requires of me ; for which I have felt abund- 
antly thankful to Him, who I believe laid it 
upon me as a duty to visit Friends in all 
their meetings far and near, and many of them 

Rachel Hicks. 257 

several times over. This has been greatly in 
the cross to my human will and natural pro- 
pensities, feeling myself unworthy of so much 

" But how true is the testimony of the Apos- 
tle, ' Not many mighty, not many noble are 
called, for God hath chosen the weak things 
of the world to confound the things that 
are mighty.' Then let no one plead excuse 
and incapacity ; for He who sends forth will 
qualify those who put their trust in and 
reliance upon Him to perform all that He 
requires of them, and will reward every obedi- 
ent soul with that sweet peace which the 
world can neither give nor take away. This 
my soul knoweth right well ! Now, in the 
evening of life, I can look back over former 
days and remember the deep mental and spirit- 
ual baptisms I had to pass through to enable 
me to say, ' Thy will, oh ! God, be done.' Lead 
me whithersoever Thou wilt, and I will follow 
Thee, for it is a duty I owe Thee, and the sal- 
vation of my immortal soul depends upon 

" I now rejoice that my day's work has been 

258 Memoir of 

done in the daytime, as to going far from 
home ; and through the mercy and loving-kind- 
ness of our Heavenly Father I am now permit- 
ted to rest. Yet my mind often visits my friends 
afar off, but near in kindness and love, desiring 
the welfare of the whole human family, and 
especially those of our own religious Society, 
who make the high profession of being led and 
guided by the Divine Spirit in our souls. 

" Of latter times I have thought so much of 
you and your approaching Quarterly Meeting 
that it seemed almost right to make an effort 
to attend it, although I feel the weakness of 
old age, having reached my eighty-sixth year. 
In my love and solicitude for you, the language 
of my heart has oft been, ' With desires I have 
desired to eat this passover with you ' before I 
go hence, to be seen of men no more. The will 
is therefore accepted for the deed. 

" I now write to you to give a little expres- 
sion to a concern I feel for you or some of 
your members. According to my feelings, 
there are some amongst you who are with- 
holding a full surrender of their own will 
to the will of our Glorious Creator, who is 

Rachel Hicks. 259 

all love, power, wisdom and mercy, worthy 
to be worshiped, loved and obeyed by all 
whom He has made. I know that it is hard 
to take up our daily cross and follow Him in 
' the straight and narrow way which leads to 
life ; ' and such is my love to those who are 
holding back, that if it were possible I would 
endure the suffering for them, that they in the 
Lord's time should enjoy the reward. My love 
goes forth to such, and my prayers ascend for 
them to Him whose wisdom is infinitely greater 
than our wisdom. He knows what is best for 
us. Therefore consult no more with thy 
reasoning powers, oh ! man or woman, who- 
ever thou art, but pray to God to strengthen 
thee to say, ' Thy will be done, not mine.' 
Then will He make hard things easy and 
sweeten the bitter cup, working wonders for 
thee as thou continuest in humble submission 
to His will. Whatever in sincerity of soul thou 
believest He requires of thee, whether small or 
great the sacrifice, be willing to yield. De- 
spise not the day of small things. 

" It feels to me that if obedience keep pace 
with the knowledge of the Lord's will, your 

260 Memoir of 

meeting will revive and grow larger and 
stronger. It is the Divine Life that is want- 
ing in all our meetings. There is much ac- 
tivity in many places, but unless Divine 
Life qualify us, all our labors will fail of pro- 
moting real and enduring reformation in our 
own Society or in the world at large. To 
' Mind the Light ' is as necessary now as it 
ever was. Walk in the Light, Divine Light, 
and labor now, looking for help to Him who is 

" I feel now to say farewell, dear friends ! If 
we meet no more in this world, I hope that we 
may all meet in Heaven, there to unite through- 
out eternity in praises and hallelujahs to Him 
who sits on the throne, for He is everlastingly 
worthy ; nor can we make too many sacri- 
fices thus to stand before Him, saith my 


The following letter was written after an ill- 
ness of three weeks at the residence of the 
Friends to whom it is addressed : 

Rachel Hicks. 261 

" WESTBURY, Qth mo., iQth, 1875. 

" Remembrance of your kindness to me, 
when prostrated on a bed of sickness, lives in 
my heart. Gladly would I reward you if in my 
power; but, feeling my insufficiency, my pray- 
ers are oft put up to Him, who is all power, 
love and wisdom, that He will bless you with 
that sweet peace of mind which this lower 
world can neither give nor take away, and in 
the end of time receive you in Heaven, there 
to join the innumerable host of redeemed spir- 
its, in ascribing praises and thanksgiving to 
Him who is everlastingly worthy, throughout 
the endless ages of eternity. This I crave for 
my own soul. 

" But, dear Friends, if we attain to this, we 
must each one labor for our own salvation 
in the strength which He alone can and will 
give to those who look to, and rely upon Him 
who fulfills the promise, ' Ask and ye shall re- 
ceive,' ' Knock and it shall be opened unto 
you.' Without His Divine aid we are weak 
and frail, and cannot do any good word or 
work ; hence the necessity of watchfulness and 

262 Memoir of 

prayer, to be preserved from the temptations 
of our creaturely will and propensities. As 
we are obedient to the teachings of His Spirit 
in our souls, which, in His goodness and loving 
kindness, He has given to every rational crea- 
ture, He will enable us to take up our daily 
cross, so that we can in sincerity say, ' Thy 
will, O Holy One, be done, and not mine.' 

" I desire to encourage you, dear friends, to 
be faithfully obedient to the teachings of the 
Lord's Spirit in you, which teaches as never 
man taught ; for He is in us, and with us, whith- 
ersoever we may wander. Fear not the ' world's 
dread laugh,' or what others may say, but be 
obedient to Him in all things, whether great or 
small. If in sincerity of soul you feel that He 
requires it of you, your reward is sure in that 
sweet peace of mind human language cannot 
portray. But why need I thus write? I trust 
that you know these things as well as I. 

" Soon after my return home it occurred to 
my mind to make a mat for thee, Dr., to put 
thy feet upon when sitting in thy office, if thy 
dear wife assents to it ; but do with it just as 
you please. I ought to have said, please ac- 

Rachel Hicks. 263 

cept it as a token of my grateful remembrance 
of your great kindness to me, a little one as I 
feel myself to be. 

"And now revives in my memory the reply 
of Jesus to those who queried of Him, ' When 
saw we Thee a stranger and took Thee in, sick 
and in prison, etc., etc., and came unto Thee?' 
' Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the 
least of these, my brethren, ye have done it 
unto me.' Therefore, look to the Most High, 
and He will be your reward for every act of 
kindness to your fellow creatures, and every 
act of obedience to Him. 

" This is the desire of your affectionate 
friend, RACHEL HlCKS." 

" WESTBURY, nth mo., iyth, 1875. 
" MY DEAR M. : 

" It is a long time since we have seen each 
other face to face, or communed with the pen. 
I often think of thee, and desire to hear from 
thee, or to see thy handwriting afresh. 

" Although there is a communing in spirit in 
congenial minds, which, I trust, we do at times 
feel, yet please excuse me if I say I love thee 

264 Memoir of 

so much that I want to know a little of what 
thou art doing and thinking about. I have no 
doubt that thy feelings oft rise in prayer and 
praise to thy Heavenly Father, for His good- 
ness and loving-kindness are infinite ; and that 
it is thy greatest care and concern so to live as 
to be accepted of Him, feeling as I often do 
that there is no real joy but in the joy of God's 

" I lately received a letter from dear S. H., 
expressing her thankfulness for having accom- 
plished those long journeys. I suppose she 
feels as I once did after I had finished an arduous 
service in visiting families, and returned home 
so comfortable, that I almost wished to call my 
friends to rejoice with me for the relief and 

sweet peace I was favored with. 


"And now, dear M., as I have desired to learn 
something about thee, I will say for myself 
that, although I feel some of the weaknesses of 
old age, my bodily health is good. My 
strength is not equal to that of former days, 
yet with my needle, etc., I can do a little to 
assist my kind niece with whom I live, for I do 

Rachel Hicks. 265 

not approve of idleness. When we are able to 
work moderately, it is better for both body and 
mind ; if we do not need it for ourselves, we 
can work for others. Above all, my mind is 
quiet and thankful that my ' day's work ' as to 
traveling abroad, which I believed my Heav- 
enly Father required as a duty to Him, was 
done ' in the daytime ; ' and that now, in the 
evening of life, I am permitted to remain 
mostly at home, where I have always lived. 
At and about home are thy duties now, is oft 
the feeling of my heart, although watchful- 
ness, prayer and obedience are as necessary 
as heretofore ; but I can say, as I trust thou 
canst, dear M., ' It is my meat and drink ' to do 
the will of my Father in Heaven.' 

" If thou art engaged in some religious labors 
among thy friends, or if thou feelest required 
to go forth, I feel a word of encouragement for 
thee. Resign all, body, soul and spirit, to Him 
who created thee, to glorify Him while here on 
earth, that thy soul may be prepared to be 
glorified with Him hereafter in Heaven. Faith- 
ful laborers are few in this day, although great- 
ly needed. Undoubtedly there are many who 

266 Memoir of 

are longing for spiritual food for the soul, but 
do not know how to find it. The education 
and example of many are so turned to outward 
things that they seem not to realize the duty 
of waiting upon the Lord in spirit, and asking 
of Him that bread which comes from Him and 
nourishes the soul unto eternal life, and heav- 
enly enjoyment, even while here on earth. 

" The prayer of my spirit oft is that the 
Most High will raise up laborers and send 
them into the vineyard, there to labor as He 
qualifies them ; and the response sometimes is, 
' There would be those raised up among our 
members, if obedience to known duty were 
performed as required.' We can only do our 
own work, dear M., so let. us hold out to the 
end. If we meet no more on earth, may we 
meet in Heaven, is the prayer of thy affection- 

" WESTBURY, i2th mo., 3oth, 1876. 

" I had been thinking much of thee and of 
writing to thee, when thy very acceptable let- 
ter was received. How I rejoiced that I was 

Rachel Hicks. 267 

not forgotten, but was remembered by one 
with whom I have long felt united in spirit, in 
endeavoring to do the will of our omnipotent 
Father that, through His mercy and loving 
kindness, our own souls may be saved with an 
everlasting salvation ; and in this our love and 
concern extend to the whole human family, 
desiring the preservation of all on that founda- 
tion upon which Christ said His church was 
built. As we have felt that our Heavenly 
Father required it of us, we have, in the abili- 
ty he has given, labored to promote the spread- 
ing of that pure and undefiled religion which 
breathes ' Glory to God in the highest, and on 
earth peace, good will toward man.' If in any 
degree we have been useful in this, all praise 
and thanksgiving are due to Him, who oft calls 
the little ones to go forth and bear testimony 
to the Truth, and invite others to make a full 
surrender of their will to the will of our Crea- 
tor as the only way to obtain happiness here 
and hereafter. But do we not know and re- 
member the deep exercises we had to pass 
through to prepare us for the service our Lord 
and Master called us to? But His reward ever 

268 Memoir of 

was, and is, sure, my soul knoweth right well ; 
and now, in the evening of life, feeling released 
from going far away from my comfortable 
home, I rejoice in the retrospect of labor per- 
formed when I felt it to be required of me. 
And, as I experience some of the infirmities of 
age, I am grateful and thankful for the quiet 
and peaceful rest, although watchfulness is 
still as necessary as ever before. 

" Feeling it to be my duty, I am thankful that 
I am able still to attend all our religious meet- 
ings as they come in course, and also funerals 
pretty often; some of persons not in member- 
ship with us who have desired a Friends' Meet- 
ing. On these occasions I often feel that 
words are given in condescension to the states 
of the people. 

Social visits to my neighbors I also feel it best 
to make occasionally, and in these and at all 
times, at home as well as abroad, I endeavor to 
promote love and harmony. When I behold 
the dawn of another day the aspiration ascends 
to Him who has the power, that I may be pre- 
served from the least degree of feeling, thought, 
word, or action that is contrary to His pure 

Rachel Hicks. 269 

and holy will. In and through all, I have a great 
sense of my unworthiness and my frailties ; 
and poverty of spirit is often my portion, feel- 
ing myself to be one of the least, if at all wor- 
thy to be called one of the flock and followers 
of Christ. 

" And thou, my dear friend, also alludest 
to thy ' strippedness and poverty of spirit.' 
I feel it to be a safe state ; and as thou looks 
to and relies upon Him who has hitherto 
sustained thee, He will carry thee as in the 
hollow of His own holy hand to the end of 
time, and thereafter receive thy immortal soul 
into Heaven ; for a mansion is prepared for 
thee if thou hold out to the end in full faith. 

" Thou remarkest, ' Times are hard.' So they 
are ; and why is it so ? Some writer has said, 
' The extravagance of our day has done much 
to bring it to pass;' and a French writer has 
remarked upon the ' fashionable idleness and 
expensive toilets of American women.' I have 
no doubt that these excesses are one great cause 
of the general depression in business ; and sad 
is the reflection that the Society of Friends 
has not, as a whole, maintained its testimony 

270 Memoir of 

to simplicity and moderation, as Friends were 
led to do at its rise. If all its members had 
felt it and obeyed, I have no doubt their influ- 
ence would have been great. 

" I am glad our dear friend expects to 

pass the winter with her children. It seems 
as though children should take care of parents 
in old age. Thy affectionate 


" WESTBURY, 3d mo., 3d, 1878. 

" One of the infirmities of old age, which I 
feel increasing upon me, is loss of memory. I 
cannot exactly remember whether I have an- 
swered thy last letter or not. If I have, thou 
wilt excuse me if I write again, for I have 
thought so much of thee of late, that I feel like 
writing to thee once more. 

" On reading thy last letter, my sympathies 
were strong with thee. Thou hast thy trials 
and afflictions. Thy Heavenly Father per- 
mits these, and they are no doubt for thy 
good, although hard to human nature to en- 
dure. But, dear friend, thy trust is in Jeho- 

Rachel Hicks. 271 

vah, for in Him is 'everlasting strength,' 
and He will carry thee through to His 
praise, and thy own establishment on that 
foundation upon which Jesus Christ said His 
church was built. How encouraging is the 
testimony of the Psalmist, ' Many are the af- 
flictions of the righteous, but the Lord deliv- 
ereth him out of them all.' 

" We may be ready to say, Why should the 
righteous be afflicted ? If they have endeav- 
ored to do their duty to their Creator, why 
should they not rest in joy and peace ? But 
this might not be a safe state even for these 
good ones ; they might sit down at ease, as on 
the Sabbath day, and almost forget to look 
to and rely upon Him to whom is ever due 
prayer, thanksgiving and praise. Continual 
sunshine in the outward world do we not be- 
lieve? would ere long bring famine on the 
animal creation. Therefore thou mayest re- 
joice that thou hast afflictions, for 'whom the 
Lord loveth He chasteneth, and scourgeth every 
son whom he receiveth.' Then be encouraged. 
I doubt not thy prayers are put up to our om- 
nipotent Father to give thee patient resignation 

272 Memoir of 

to endure all thy afflictions so as in sincerity * 
to say, ' If this cup may not pass from me ex- 
cept I drink it, Thy will be done.' No doubt 
there are seasons also in which thou hast to 
rejoice in Him who is the Comforter to those 
who rely upon Him. 

" But where is dear ? I hope she too 

has her trials, so as to keep her bowed down 
in deep humility as at the feet of our Divine 
Father, not asking great things for herself, 
but willing to accept anything He in His 
infinite wisdom sees best for her. My own 
experience teaches me that afflictions are for 
our best interest, to wean us from the love of 
this lower world, and raise our aspirations for 
treasures in Heaven, where ' neither moth nor 
rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not 
break through nor steal,' for there we are safe 
in Him who is a present helper in the needful 

" We mourn over the sins that we see com- 
mitted even by professing Christians, and if 
all the laborers for reformation would look to 
Omnipotence to qualify and enable them to 
labor in His wisdom and the power He alone 

Rachel Hicks. 273 

can give, no doubt their labors would be more 
successful than they have been. I do not ques- 
tion that many of these are sincere, but they 
seem not to know the necessity of Divine quali- 
fication for every good word and work. * * 

" The loss of dear George Truman we 
mourn : the void we feel ; but our consolation 
is the trust we have that our loss is his great 
gain. We are passing away one after another, 
but it matters not if we are only ready when 
the call comes, ' Give an account of thy stew- 
ardship, for thou mayest be no longer stew- 
ard.' This is what I desire for myself, and 
my prayers to my Father in Heaven are to 
give me strength to 'watch/ and if any duty is 
required, that I may perform it ; but patiently 
to wait and quietly to hope may be all. To 
be clothed with a meek and quiet spirit to the 
end is the prayer of my soul. It is due to our 
Divine Father to live a righteous life, and I 
have no joy or rejoicing but in feeling accepted 
of Him. If we meet no more on earth, I hope 
we may meet in Heaven. 

" This is the aspiration of thy affectionate 


274 Memoir of 

" WESTBURY, ;th mo., 28th, 1878. 

" I take the pen to acknowledge the recep- 
tion of thy kind letter, but I have not language 
to portray fully the comfort and satisfaction I 
felt on reading it. It seemed like a repetition of 
my own experience when I went to and fro 
visiting Friends and their meetings, believing 
that my Heavenly Father required it of me. 
Many were my pleadings and excuses, ' I am 
so little and unworthy ! Why not send those 
who have fine talents, and are every way better 
qualified than Thy little servant?' was often 
the language of my spirit. But all my excuses 
were in vain ; and sometimes the query would 
arise in my heart, ' If thou art so little, how 
darest thou turn away from doing the command 
of Him who is omnipotent ? ' 

" I see, dear sister, that thou too finds that 
there is no other way to obtain that peace 
which the world can neither give nor take 
away, than to make a full surrender of thy own 
will, and to say in sincerity of heart, ' Thy will, 
O Holy Father ! be done. Lead me whith- 
ersoever Thou wilt, and I will follow Thee.' 

Rachel Hicks. 2/5 

And the gracious promise will then be ful- 
filled, ' I will be with thee, I will strengthen 
thee,' and He will be thy stay and staff. 
His promises He mercifully fulfilled in my 
experience as I relied upon Him, looked to 
Him, and earnestly craved His assistance. 

" We all may bear in mind the testimony of 
Paul to the Corinthians, ' God hath chosen the 
weak things of the world to confound the things 
which are mighty/ and that ' no flesh should 
glory in His presence.' I desire thy encourage- 
ment to continue thy devotion and dedication 
to the service of Him who works by instru- 
ments, as well as by His own spirit in the soul. 
Oft have my prayers been put up to Him that 
He would raise up faithful laborers and send 
them forth to labor in His vineyard ; those 
who dare not trust to their own strength, 
but who will look to Him to qualify for 
every good word and work. 

" I rejoiced when I became acquainted with 
thee, believing that thou hadst resigned thy 
will to Him whom it is our duty to obey in all 
things ; and for thy encouragement I feel it 
right to say of myself that now in the evening 

276 Memoir of 

of my life I feel released, not only from travel- 
ing far from my home, but also from much out- 
ward testimony even in our own meetings; but 
through it all I can say, ' Not my will, but 
Thine, O Holy one ! be done.' 

"Now oft, sitting alone in my comfortable 
home, I rejoice that my day's work was done 
in the daytime, when I had strength of body 
sufficient for the labor; although in early life I 
was among the chief of sinners in the omission 
of a known duty that is, to rise and speak in 
meeting. Even twenty years did I wander in 
the wilderness, longing for spiritual food; but 
when I saw the terms of admittance to the table 
spread for the obedient ones, ' I turned away 
sorrowful,' until by suffering I was made willing 
to bow my own will and rise, uttering distinctly 
a few sentences, proving that to be a lying spirit 
which had so long persuaded me I could not 
speak in a public meeting so as to be heard. 

" After our Monthly Meeting acknowledged 
my ministry, I traveled frequently from home, 
visiting all the meetings belonging to our part 
of the Society of Friends, and some of them 
twice over. Whether it has ever done any good 

Rachel Hicks. 277 

to others I leave to Him who sees the heart, but 
through His mercy I feel that it has thus far 
saved my own soul. 

" I feel thankful that I am now permitted to 
stay peacefully at home, and my prayer oft is 
for patience and resignation to any trial He in 
His wisdom may see best for me, and that I 
may be clothed with a meek and quiet spirit to 
the end of my days, and that I may pass away 
praising the Lord. 

" Please write when thee feels like it, and 
gratify Thy affectionate friend, 




THERE are some lives which flow quietly 
along their course, exerting their influence for 
good upon those immediately around them, 
and attract comparatively little public notice. 

It was shown in the life of Rachel Hicks, 
that while she greatly desired to occupy this 
position, she felt called upon to enter a wider 
fi^ld of labor. 

She was born at Westbury, L. I., in the year 
1789. Her parents were Gideon and Elizabeth 
Seaman, members of the Society of Friends. 

Subject to the influence and example of 
parents deeply concerned for the guarded 
training of their children, her youth was passed 
in much innocence. So tender was her con- 

Rachel Hicks. 279 

science, that on one occasion, at the age of 
eight years, when she had used a word she felt 
to be wrong, her remorse was so great that it 
affected her health, and not until she felt she 
had been forgiven was it restored. 

Thus early did her youthful mind recognize 
the obligation of living in harmony with her 
impressions of right and duty. Her associates 
from childhood were those of our Society, and 
her parents being prominent members, their 
house was often visited by Friends traveling in 
the ministry. Listening to their conversation, 
and imbued with the spirit of their lives, she 
was early impressed with serious thoughts, and 
the obligation of living in subordination to the 
Higher Law, manifest in the secret of the heart. 

In the primitive period of her early life, the 
practice obtained of having the family collect 
together in the twilight of the evening. At 
these times, in the quiet and rest from the 
labors of the day, an opportunity was afforded 
for meditation and retrospective self-examina- 

On one of these occasions, when in her nine- 
teenth year, she writes, " My mind was turned 

280 Memoir of 

to my Heavenly Father, with strong desires to 
serve Him through life, when it was intelligi- 
bly sounded in my mental ear, ' If faithful to 
My requirings, thou wilt have to speak in the 
assemblies of the people, and travel extensively 
in the ministry.' " 

This seemed to have been as unexpected as 
it was an unwelcome message to her. Timid 
and bashful by nature, she felt that she never 
could stand before an audience and address 
them intelligibly. In vain she endeavored to 
persuade herself that it was a delusion, which 
time would dispel ; but steadily the conviction 
rested on her mind, that it was a service to 
which she would be called. Without any dis- 
tinct impressions as to time or place, when she 
should begin her work in the ministry, she, 
nevertheless, in the dread and fear of the duty, 
says, " I became rebellious, and out of the 
Divine harmony my soul had so longed for, and 
in which I had enjoyed such sweet commu- 

In this state of mind she adds, " When I had 
heretofore been called mild and gentle in my 
disposition, I was sometimes irritable and im- 

Rachel Hicks. 281 

patient. This grieved me, for I loved the 
truth, and desired not to do anything that 
would bring dishonor upon it." About a year 
after this first impression that she would have 
to appear in the ministry, she felt the time had 
come to bear her testimony publicly, but she 
could not bring her mind to submit. 

Year after year, she states, " I felt I was in 
rebellion against my known duty. My stubborn 
will would not yield, and again and again I was 
turned backward in the wilderness, and the 
earth brought forth thorns and thistles." 
Through many trials and vicissitudes this im- 
pression of duty continued to weigh heavily 
upon her mind, until at last, in her forty-second 
year, she yielded, and spoke a few words in our 
meetings. She had now given up to the ser- 
vice of her Father, whithersoever He might 
lead her, and great peace and satisfaction were 
her reward. 

At the age of twenty-six she was married to 
Abraham Hicks, of Rockaway, L. I., a nephew 
of Elias Hicks. She found in her husband a 
most congenial spirit. Being in full accord in 
all their religious sentiments, they lived to- 

282 Memoir of 

gather in great unity for eleven years, when he 
died ; leaving her with three young children, 
an aged father, and the responsibility of a 

A few years after this bereavement, she had 
to mourn the loss of two of her children. Her 
s on, Abraham, was spared to be a great com- 
fort and a stay to her for a number of years 

To return to her public labors. So satisfac- 
tory were her communications, that it was not 
long before her ministry was recognized, and 
she became an approved minister of our Society. 
Having so long delayed the work to which she 
had been called, and now making a full surren- 
der of her life to the will of her Divine Master, 
she felt prepared to go whithersoever He might 
lead her. Besides the exercise of her gift in 
her own meeting, she soon felt required to go 
forth to other places and proclaim the Gospel. 

After having made several visits in the line 
of her duty to neighboring meetings, we find 
her, in the summer of 1837, visiting the North- 
ern Quarterly Meetings. In the fall of the 
same year a minute was granted her to attend 

Rachel Hicks. 283 

Baltimore Yearly Meeting. In the spring of 
the following year she visited Genesee Yearly 
Meeting, and proceeding westward to that of 
Ohio and Indiana ; her mission seems not to 
have been accomplished until she had attended 
nearly all the- meetings composing them. This 
journey in the then new countries of the West 
was beset with many hardships and consider- 
able expense. Her great endurance and per- 
severance, combined with the faith that for 
every requisition of duty strength and ability 
would be afforded, sustained her : and notwith- 
standing her longing for the quiet enjoyment 
of her home, which she loved so well, she was 
willing to forego all, that the cause of Truth 
might be promoted. 

This journey occupied seven months. Re- 
turning with a heart full of gratitude for Divine 
favors, on this occasion as on all others, she was 
from her own experience ever ready to testify 
to the goodness of her Divine Master. From 
this time up to 1852, a period of fifteen years, 
there scarcely passed a year but that she went 
forth in the work of the ministry. 

The love of order was a conspicuous trait 

284 Memoir of 

in her character, often using the quotation, 
" Order is Heaven's first law." She was always 
careful to lay her concerns before the proper 
meeting for its judgment, and with marked 
humility seemed ever ready to submit to its 
decision. For two years after 1852, she felt re- 
leased from the necessity of going abroad in 
the ministry. The health of her remaining 
son, Abraham, was failing, and her duty lay at 
home. Tenderly and faithfully she attended 
him, and saw by the progress of the disease 
that ere long she must part with him. She had 
borne the loss of both parents and husband, 
and this, her last earthly stay and comfort, 
must be given up. She writes, " I had looked 
to him as my counsellor and caretaker ; every 
fibre of my heart entwined around him in the 
strong affection of a mother's love." Yet in 
that faith and submission to the dispensations 
of an overruling Providence, she was calm and 
resigned, with the prayer in her heart, " Not 
my will, but thine, O Father! be done." This 
last affliction would have quite overcome a mind 
less strong, or a faith less enduring. Notsowith 
her. Having made a full surrender of heart, 

Rachel Hicks. 285 

she was obedient to every manifestation of 
duty; and we accordingly find her, in the fol- 
lowing year, again in the field of labor in distant 
parts. It is not our purpose, in this brief 
memoir, to give a detailed account of her work 
in the ministry. Whether at home or abroad, 
she seemed scrupulously careful to watch close- 
ly the pointings of Truth on her mind. Modest, 
and distrustful of her own abilities, she was al- 
ways desirous of placing self in the background, 
while at the same time unshrinking in the per- 
formance of what she considered the cause of 
right, and the maintenance of the testimonies 
of our Society. 

In her journal she writes: "I have made no 
account of the number of miles I have traveled, 
or meetings I have attended, fearing it might 
seem like boasting." She lived in great sim- 
plicity, practicing both frugality and industry, 
often saying that with less extravagance we 
could find both time and means for the exercise 
of larger charity. 

Conservative by nature, innovations on old 
practices or views found but little favor 
with her, yet she endeavored to be charitable. 

286 Memoir of 

Strongly attached to her friends at home, she 
would have lived a life of comparative seclu- 
sion gladly, if she could have followed her 
natural inclinations ; consequently, when the 
call to duty was over, the return to her own 
fireside was a source of great satisfaction. 

In the latter part of her life, she felt that the 
burden of former years was in a large degree 
removed, and her communications were more 
brief, and less frequent than heretofore. When 
she did feel called upon to bear testimony, her 
voice would be heard in the same clear and 
earnest appeal for obedience to the voice with- 
in, which she had so abundantly found suffi- 
cient to guide her through life. For many 
years past, she had felt as though life's journey 
was near its close. Death had no dread for 
her; content to " labor and to wait," she glided 
through the autumn of her life, ripe in holy 
experiences, and full of faith in the rewards in 
store for the righteous. Though free from 
many of the infirmities which so often attend 
advanced age, time had nevertheless made its 
impress on her form and face. 

Yet her noble presence, dignified counte- 

Rachel Hicks. 287 

nance and serenity were so conspicuous, that 
none who beheld her could fail to be impressed 
with the beautiful spirit that dwelt within. 
Long had she been ready and waiting for the 
close of her earthly pilgrimage. 

On the 1 3th of Eighth Month, 1878, in her 
ninetieth year, it came. Full of years, full of 
good works, she laid down the burden of her 
life, and was at rest. Though her earnest 
words of exhortation are no longer heard in our 
assemblies, the memory of them will long be 
treasured up in sweet remembrance, and the 
example of her life continue as an inspiration 
for coming years. 

Read in and approved by Westbury Month- 
ly Meeting of the Society of Friends, in joint 
session, held First Month, I5th, 1879. 




Read in and approved by Westbury Quarter- 
ly Meeting, held in New York, First Month, 

23d, 1879. JOSHUA T. CROMWELL, 



Clerk for the day.